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[VIRTUAL] Community Journalism

Black-and-white image of the back of a photojournalist raising a camera on a tripod overhead; text below: "Community Journalism" and logos of Chicago Humanities Festival and PEN AmericaThe importance of community-based journalism has become increasingly apparent following this past year of pandemic restrictions, which came at a time of already diminished resources for local news coverage. Join PEN America and Chicago Humanities Festival for a conversation featuring journalists covering their own communities. Representing a range of models for local reporting, they will discuss the unique roles journalists can play in sharing their neighbors’ stories and serving communal needs. Together, they offer a portrait of the challenges and opportunities for more inclusive and democratic reporting in our current moment.

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This conversation will be moderated by Bettina Chang, cofounder and executive editorial director at City Bureau.


Maxwell Evans headshotMaxwell Evans covers numerous Southeast Side neighborhoods for Block Club Chicago, with a focus on Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and his home community of South Shore. He reports on all issues relevant to the area—from lakefront erosion and mutual aid groups to environmental justice, art, and culture. Evans previously wrote for Gongwer News ServiceCapital News Service, and City Pulse, all in Lansing, MI. He hails from Kalamazoo, MI—a fact known by anyone who has known him for more than five minutes. Twitter: @afrodip

Katie Prout headshotKatie Prout is a writer and workshop leader who lives in Chicago. Her work has been featured in The Chicago ReaderThe New RepublicBelt Magazine, and elsewhere. Twitter: @katie_prout

Jacqueline Serrato headshot

Jackie Serrato is a “barrio journalist” and editor-in-chief of South Side Weekly. She got her start in journalism after launching a bilingual community Facebook page that gained 150,000 followers. Her work has appeared in La Voz/Chicago Sun-Times, Hoy/Tribune Publishing, The Chicago Reporter, WTTW, Block Club Chicago, and WBEZ. Twitter: @HechaEnChicago

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