A BBG Community Journalism Project

WITNESS Black By God Folk Reporters Program


Black By God The West Virginian is a developing community-led journalism venture seeking to fortify our civic infrastructure.

BBG’s Folk Reporters Program seeks citizens and civic actors, creators, and collaborators representing a broad base of intergenerational, diverse communities to explore the 2022 West Virginia Legislative agenda that impacts Black citizens.

Black By God is centered on developing and distributing content that monitors the West Virginia Legislature, contributes to a communal pool of knowledge, and speaks to Balck citizens.

Bringing the community together by democratizing news and information at the local level, focusing on Black issues and voices, and holding local government accountable to the people, all the people benefits us all.

WITNESS How Our Program Works

We are launching our 2022 program as a pilot in partnership with Los Angeles-based journalist Alicia Ramirez who will be launching a nonprofit newsroom later this year in Riverside County, California. This partnership is grounded in a shared commitment to serve rural communities by empowering everyday residents to bear witness and inform.

Together BBG and Ramirez will be implementing a pilot program during the 2022 West Virginia legislative session to serve as a template for her forthcoming newsroom and hopefully for communities across the nation.

But we can’t do this without you. We seek volunteers to virtually attend one or more committee meetings during the legislative sessions. We call this WITNESS. The 2022 program will provide one (1) training along with a general guide of how the meetings generally work and what types of information to be on the lookout for.

Folk Reporters can follow the template and guide, but those comfortable doing so can also branch out and record their initial impressions via social media in a Twitter thread or a Facebook or Instagram post. At the end of the committee meeting, Folk Reporters will be expected to email their reports or a link to the social media posts to BBG. Folk Reporters will also receive creative and editing support from BBG and Ramirez.

We hope this will be the start of putting the power of the pen back into the hands of local community members to support and empower homegrown news coverage. Folk-reporters are the foundation for Black By God’s editorial mission; they can help to fill the current void of media and reporting in West Virginia.

This pilot project is modeled after Documenters .

To date we have zero funding for this initiative.

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