About two years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of representatives from local media outlets hosted by Point Park’s Center for Media Innovation, where we were asked what we wanted to see more of in the news. My answer? Representation of all the people living and working in our region, not just of a privileged few, and in particular, representation of people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Not long after that, I had to fold the print publication I was editing due to unexpected health issues combined with increased printing costs, but the idea that the Mon Valley needed a media outlet that would shine a light on the aforementioned traditionally underserved populations remained. I started exploring ways to address this problem.
That’s about the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the world stopped. The notion of creating a publication about people and places seemed implausible in light of the fact that a) people weren’t meeting, and b) places were closed or operating at reduced capacity.
Now, as more and more people are getting vaccinated and things are getting back to some semblance of normal – or as normal as they may ever be again, as we’ve learned so much this year about how we live, work, study, and play – I feel the time is at hand to revisit the idea of increased representation of marginalized groups in our local media.
I also think it’s important to have a conversation about the role of media in effecting positive change in our region and in the world.
It’s an ambitious task, one I’m fortunate not to have to do alone, and I also welcome your insights on how we at Mon Valley Vistas can increase the profile of people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the Mon Valley and surrounding areas.
We also plan to cover the arts, entertainment, education, healthcare, charitable organizations, and local businesses in general, and welcome your story ideas. Have a special event planned, know a person making a difference in their community, or a great new local business about to open? Contact us via our Contact form or send an email to email@example.com.
You can read more about the goals and mission of Mon Valley Vistas on our About page.
Photo of the Speers Bridge crossing the Monongahela River by Jon Dawson, used under a Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/