The Many goes face-to-face

Our partner, the Birmingham Public Library,
cohosted an event on Sept. 23

Spaceship Media was thrilled to host The Many Live! — an in-person gathering of women from The Many, our national, cross-political-lines online conversation. Women from the moderated, closed Facebook group met face-to-face for the first time. They also had the chance to meet the librarians who have been providing reporting to the group as well as folks from the Birmingham area. The Many Live! featured a panel of five participants. “The Many has helped me not look at people who believe differently as the enemy,” said Tiffany Rouse. “I can just listen; I don’t even have to respond.” Participants in the group have learned to see one another as whole humans rather than partisan caricatures. “Initially I’d be reading through comments and thinking, ‘Oh she’s a conservative,’ ‘They’re liberal,’” said Rebecca Seung-Bickley. “But now, I can’t even keep it straight anymore because there’s a lot more of a holistic perspective — not seeing people as one or the other.” Read more about the event in this piece from Abbey Crain, reporter for Spaceship Media partner

Talking about engagement, journalism and ... Heaven

Connection to the communities we engage with is at the heart of dialogue journalism. In her piece Talking about Heaven, Spaceship Media’s Adriana García writes about the skills journalists utilize in this deep engagement work. She explores the value of transparency and how journalists draw on their own life experiences to connect with the communities they serve. “Journalists are storytellers and stories are what help people find their own truth and  —  more importantly  —  help people see the truth of others,” she writes. “We should be constantly asking ourselves ‘How am I making my readers’ community better? How does my perspective help my community?’”

Crossing the Line

Working with McClatchy’s Fresno Bee and the NEWSCo/Lab at Arizona State University, Spaceship Media designed and is managing Crossing the Line in close partnership with Bee City Hall reporter Brianna Calix. The project brings together residents of North Fresno and South Fresno, neighborhoods long divided by issues including income and race and ethnicity, into a series of conversations. “My goal through this project is to help people from different parts of the city understand each other better,” writes Calix. “I hope this dialogue also builds trust in the journalistic process.” Poll Town is helping collect resident feedback about the lines that divide the people of Fresno.

Where We're Featured

Anahita Mukherji’s piece, Good Fences Don’t Always Make Good Neighbors, ran on Univision in both English and Spanish. The piece looks at how women of The Many think about the current administration's policy of separating children from their families at the border. Mukherhi explores Tiffany Rouse’s question “Can common ground be found between those advocating for immigrant children at the border and those fighting for the right to life for the unborn?”

Spaceship co-founder Eve Pearlman — alongside Republican Senate Candidate Chele Farley (NY) — popped by Bold TV, a digital news network committed to bipartisan dialogue & innovation, for a quick interview with Bold founder Carrie Sheffield. She also participated in Story of The Future, an online summit about storytelling. She shared Spaceship Media’s origin story as well as reflections on the role storytelling plays in building and supporting communities built across social and political fault lines. Eve also

Spaceship Media’s Kristine Villanueva wrote a piece reflecting on the cultural hurdles Asian women face as participants in The Many — and her own exploration of finding voice as a community moderator. “Through my work in The Many, I am learning that I have a voice and need to use it,” she writes.

Where We've Been

At this year’s Online News Association conference in Austin, Spaceship project director Adriana García and co-founders Eve Pearlman and Jeremy Hay were busy! Together they hosted a workshop on engaging communities across difference, and Eve and Jeremy each hosted table talks on audience engagement and entrepreneurship. García presented at the JSK Fellowships booth about Spaceship’s library partnerships and our hopes to recruit more libraries into the fold (both Jeremy and Adriana are JSK alums). If you know a library that might be interested in partnering with us, send them our way!

Meanwhile, at Asian American Journalists Association annual conference in Houston, moderator and reporter Kristine Villanueva met Christy Ma and Nikhita Nookala, student journalists from Stoneman Douglas, who covered the Parkland shooting in Florida.

New Crew Member Aboard the Spaceship

We’re happy to have Cailley LaPara onboard as a moderator for The Many! LaPara joined the team to produce Spaceship’s podcast (look out for new episodes!) and is now expanding her duties. A graduate of George Washington University, LaPara studied International Affairs and English/creative writing. One day, she hopes to become a foreign correspondent to cover issues surrounding environmental justice.

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