The Level Up: Transformative Education for Journalists is an education program that works to equip journalists and community media makers with the analysis, skills, and tools they need to transform the field of journalism and expand the practice of southern movement journalism.
Our educational programs:
- Help working journalists develop strategies to combat racism, sexism, transphobia, and other forms of oppression in the industry
- Support editors and journalism leaders to build more just newsrooms and organizations
- Develop journalism educators to transform their teaching with an anti-oppression frame
- Cultivate community among media makers in the South and help them skill up to be better reporters, podcasters, and writers.
Journalism has been in a holding pattern for over 50 years now: People of color, women, and trans and gender-nonconforming people are still few and far between in leadership and editorial roles. Meanwhile, local news in poor and rural areas has been chipped away by corporate consolidation and a changing business model, resulting in little to no access to good information for many local communities, both urban and rural. The model for journalism remains hierarchical and extractive, to the detriment of the communities most in need of strong information infrastructure.
And yet, we know that journalism remains a key part of social change and liberation: It can provide organizers and communities with actionable information that helps catalyze change. Journalism is more important than ever, especially in the South.
At Press On, we believe that how we do this reporting work matters. It is not enough to report about oppressed communities, we must enable reporting by and for oppressed people, shifting from a “diversity and inclusion” model to an approach that centers justice and liberation at every level.
We refer to this practice as movement journalism.
Press On’s education program helps journalists and media makers build the political and historical analysis, skills, and tools they need to transform the field toward liberation. All of our workshops and trainings are responsive to needs we have heard from movement journalists and journalists from marginalized communities and identities in the South. Our curriculum is grounded in principles of popular education and Black liberation, and is tailored to specific groups and audiences based on need. Our workshops are also intersectional, focusing on racial and gender justice but not excluding discussions of disability justice, LGBTQ+ issues, and economic oppression in the field of journalism. We focus on examining systems of power, historically and today, in order to take action toward change.
Our curriculum centers Southern media makers of color, queer and trans, immigrants, Black and Indigenous, and people from low-income and rural communities, but our programming is frequently open to national audiences and collaborators across a variety of identities and sectors. Currently, all Press On educational programming is offered online due to the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fall we are hosting a series of Snack & Learn political education sessions for organizers, journalists and media makers trying to deepen their practice.
On November 9th at 7-8pm (est) / 6-7pm (ct), we are hosting a virtual Snack & Learn session on Building Worker-Led Newsrooms. Participants will deepen their understanding of how worker-led newsrooms are formed and operated; gain an understanding of how worker-led newsrooms are rooted in equity; and gain an understanding of the rewards and challenges of being part of a worker-led newsroom.
You can register here by November 2nd.
On November 19th at 1-2pm (est) / 12 – 1pm (ct), we are hosting a virtual Snack & Learn session on Media for Trans Liberation. Participants will deepen their understanding of how trans and gender-nonconforming people are creating media for the purpose of trans liberation, as well as deepen their understanding of how media can be used to shift harmful narratives about trans and gender-nonconforming people.
You can register here by November 12th.