Professor Vanessa Maria Graber teaches Principles of Journalism, but she also makes an impact in her local community. She started producing a Latino youth radio show in a low power community radio station in North Carolina, which helped her realize her love for community media. Seeking to give the youth a voice, Professor Graber joined PhillyCam as a radio station manager. After six years with PhillyCam, she joined Free Press, where she still works today.
“Free Press is a media advocacy organization that fights for people’s right to communication and I lead a project called News Voices in New Jersey,” said Graber. “In News Voices, we try to work with journalists and the community to center the community’s information needs.”
Professor Graber’s work is very crucial in today’s world. She stressed the importance of getting involved in community media.
“I think for people who are marginalized or are from underrepresented groups, it gives them an opportunity to share their voice, and tell their own story, and highlight important issues that wouldn’t be seen in mainstream media.”
Groups such as PhillyCam and Free Press help to solve these issues. They give a voice to those who have not had an opportunity to do so before.
Professor Graber is working on her project with Free Press, but still volunteers with PhillyCam. She continues to spend her time teaching students about journalism and the importance of community media. If you would like to learn more about Free Press, check to their website at https://www.freepress.net.