Saturday 1st October, 2011
3:40pm to 4:30pm
As cities increase their focus on improving the urban environment, how can journalism help citizens shape the community in which they live? Alissa Walker, an L.A. based writer who writes about architecture, design and urban issues, is experimenting with ways to use journalism to activate and empower local residents. This year, at the publication GOOD, Alissa helped launch GOOD LA, the first chapter of a new initiative called GOOD Local, which focuses on not only providing great local content, but also on giving readers the tools to take action for the causes they believe in, and provide real-life opportunities to engage with each other. In her role as editor, Alissa has created crowd-sourced projects, community events, and service opportunities that create impact on a local level and add value to the GOOD experience, producing more loyal and active readers. Journalists don’t need to work within the context of a publication to make the same impact in their cities. On a personal level, Alissa gave up her car a few years ago (Yes! In L.A.! It’s possible!) and uses tools like her personal blog, Facebook and Twitter to engage her readers around local public transit issues. This can include anything from taking photos of herself walking to prove that people walk in L.A., posting updates to Twitter about riding the bus, to organizing urban hikes and tours, and writing about biking in L.A. to help women feel safer about getting on a bike.
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