| Program: || DuPage Media and Community Network, Wheaton, IL |
| Contact(s): || Reverend Andre Allen: (630) 260-0190 |
| Purpose: || To improve the coverage of people of color in newspapers, television, and radio |
Following the O.J. Simpson verdict, religious and media leaders in DuPage County, Illinois, met to explore how different racial groups can have radically divergent perceptions on the same social issue. The leaders wanted to explore the root causes of these disparities. In creating the DuPage Media and Community Network, they concluded that it was important for citizens and the media to join forces to review, discuss, and improve the representation of people of color in the media.
Several months after some initial meetings, the DuPage Media and Community Network organized a workshop on race relations for about 60 people, including 10 from media organizations. At this meeting, the participants exchanged points of view while examining how news coverage is created and how it is perceived by various parts of the community. The participants also brainstormed on different ideas for collective solutions. As a follow-up to this meeting, the group convened a workshop consisting of roughly 150 representatives from the media and community organizations so that those organizations could receive training on how to get their stories out to the mainstream press, television, and radio. In addition to these major events, the group meets every other month to plan a strategy for involving other media representatives in their network. The meetings revolve around people sharing their feelings about news coverage of minorities and issues that have emerged in the past few weeks. The DuPage Media and Community Network has organized seminars for community organizations to meet with representatives of the media and learn strategies for disseminating their messages.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
While no formal evaluation of the program has been done, most members of the DuPage Media and Community Network see noticeable effects from their work. As the group moves forward, its members plan to continue informing themselves about media coverage, as well as expanding the list of regular attendees.