Here are two more stories from the Boot Camp projects from the Annenberg Master’s in Specialized Journalism Program.
The two featured below each take different angles on Skid Row, the 55-square block area just east of downtown Los Angeles where one of the nation’s largest homeless populations resides.
Homelessness is one of our city’s most pressing problems. In the present economy that fact truer than ever. Yet it is a problem that is so complex and difficult to solve that, after a while, many of us simply tune the issue out. It his challenging, therefore, for a reporter to find a way to focus the reader/viewer’s attention on this important topic.
Christin Davis addressed the challenge by looking at one of Skid Row’s expanding demographics: single dads, which she examines through the lens of a newly-homeless father who sees Skid Row as a helpful place that may be used as a “great stepping stone” back to stability.
(Note: Kristin’s report first appeared on Neon Tommy.)
Jussi Jormanainen’s approach to humanizing the homeless issue was to do the first of what he imagined as a series of personal portraits, with the pilot portrait focusing on Skid Row’s best known (and arguably best-liked) cop, LAPD Officer Deon Joseph.
Christin Davis, B.A. in Journalism from California State University, Fullerton (2008). As an undergraduate, she lived abroad each summer and spent her time teaching English, running kids’ camps, and facilitating soccer game showings. Through her work with The Salvation Army’s magazine Caring, she has covered stories abroad, including The Salvation Army’s community involvement in the 2006 World Cup in Berlin and on their involvement in the education system in Hong Kong. Additionally, she has overseas Journalism experience in New Zealand, Romania, Scotland, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Italy. As the managing editor for Caring, she continues to travel for news stories while maintaining responsibility for all phases of editing and production of the magazine. Davis lives in Long Beach, California.
Jussi Jormanainen, Master’s Degree Studies in Journalism from University of Tampere in Finland (2000). Since 1999, he has been a freelance director and documentary director for the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) where he has directed and helped to film, edit, and produce over 50 documentaries or documentary series. He has worked as a freelance television reporter with MTV3 and as a freelance news reporter with Finland’s national newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat. Also, he lectures and leads workshops on screenwriting for television and visual storytelling at the University of Tampere. Jormanainen speaks Swedish and Italian and resides in Helsinki, Finland.
By the way, I was on vacation when the LA Times ran its wonderful four-part series on Project 50,
the LA County initiative sponsored by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, to find and house the 50 most at risk Skid Row residents. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and take a look.