In November 2011, three arts journalists, Joshua Samuel Brown, Michele Siegel and Alissa Walker embarked upon our USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship with the goal of discovering a new context for covering arts and culture. After spending four days on foot, on buses and on the seat of a bike, we think we uncovered a new methodology for producing arts journalism that’s more relevant and valuable to both the artists and the audiences we serve.
We propose a new way to cover arts and culture: It’s called Street Journalism. And here’s what we’re all about.
We will cover a beat—a physical neighborhood, a cultural community, a single city block.
We will walk, bike or take public transit as we report. We will limit our trips in cars.
We will keep our eyes open, our cameras focused, and our Twitter streams active.
We will be flexible. We realize that getting there is half the story.
We will meet the locals. We will ask them what we should be covering in their neighborhoods.
We will remember that the best story leads come from people, not computers.
We will report stories which acknowledge that art is about place, and culture is about context.
You may know of some journalists who are already practicing Street Journalism. We have a few favorites, too. Here are some examples of Street Journalism that we really like:
- Michael Kimmelman on the changing urban design of New York City
- Roberta Smith’s story on discovering inadvertent art
- Slake, a new literary journal for Los Angeles
- The work of street photographer Bill Cunningham
- “In Defense of the Persian Palace,” by Greg Goldin
- The “Walks and Talks” series on Urban Omnibus
- “99 Essential Restaurants,” Los Angeles restaurant reviews by Jonathan Gold
Of course, you may be practicing this kind of journalism already, too. And if so, we want to see it. Tweet your Street Journalism stories using the hashtag #streetjourno We’re hoping that like other hashtags (#longreads, for example) it will signify that this story, that this reporting, came from a deeper connection to a community, forged by a relationship that started where culture resides: on the streets.
We can’t wait to hear from you. See you on the streets.