BrownTown reflects on the uprisings of summer 2020 within the context of movement media with Grace Del Vecchio, freelance reporter and activist who focuses on social movements and highlights youth activism. Originally recorded September 9, 2020.
Grace Del Vecchio is a freelance reporter and undergrad student at DePaul University. When she first moved to Chicago from Philadelphia in 2018, she worked as an organizer for multiple Chicago grassroots and electoral campaigns before transitioning to journalism. While her work covers a wide range of topics, she focuses on social movements and highlights youth activism.
Following up from the first installment with Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger of AirGo, BrownTown listens, learns, and again converses about movement media. This time leaning into more traditional journalistic structures and academic institutions set to the backdrop of the 2020 uprisings against police brutality and white supremacy.
Grace shares some of her background before the gang digs into their definitions of "movement media" and how to be responsible with your platform, using your voice appropriately yet sparingly while amplifying others. Grace talks journalism from an activist, academic, and professional perspective noting that, "the objective narrative is a tool of white supremacy. It seeks to kill voices that need to be heard." The team sifts through related topics including journalists' responsibility in an election year, Chicago independent media (shoutout CIMA), voyeurism/sensationalism in media, internet trolls, why Trump considers Biden and other moderates the "radical left", and even why Caullen watches corporate news.
As the media landscape generally becomes more diverse and decentralized, creative activists use traditional and new mediums to push for, in real-time, a more equitable world through entertainment, dialogue, and education. How do we continue this with independent journalism while more often than not, still operating much in hierarchical systems of the old guard? While centering the use of editorial-based journalism and the advent of social media, how do we create, change, and sustain movement media for the more equitable and creative? Especially while co-opting traditionally corporate tools for liberation? Here's their take. Originally recorded September 9, 2020.
Follow Grace on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and her curated work on Muckrack. Additionally, Grace has bylines in Billy Penn (Philly publication), Chicago Reader, Block Club Chicago, WTTW, The Daily Beast, and Belt Magazine.
Other topics mentioned:
CREDITS: Intro audio from "#GeorgeFloyd National Day of Protest | May 30, 2020" video edited by Sensitive Visuals featuring words by Damon Williams and music by Rebel Diaz. Outro music and audio engineering by Genta Tamashiro. Episode photo by Kelly Garcia.
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