Renaissance Journalism has launched a new national effort to explore and recommend innovative ways to improve news media coverage of the housing affordability and insecurity crisis. The crisis is peaking with the growing wealth gap, persistent racial discrimination and unbridled gentrification, and it is having profound impacts on the health, safety and vitality of people, neighborhoods and cities.
To inform our study, which was commissioned by The Ford Foundation, we are convening three regional roundtable discussions to bring together a diverse mix of 20-25 leaders from media, philanthropy, the nonprofit/community sector and other fields. Through a facilitated dialogue, we will discuss existing media practices, imagine new possibilities, and consider ways to improve coverage.
We expect that the all-day, by-invitation-only roundtables will touch on many issues related to the housing crisis, including affordable housing, housing insecurity, homelessness, equity and social justice, the growing wealth disparities and news media performance. Renaissance Journalism previously has used the roundtable format to gather insights for other initiatives.
The three roundtable sites are Pittsburgh, Penn., Fresno, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas.
Each roundtable will be hosted by a local foundation. The Heinz Endowments will host the first roundtable in Pittsburgh in May, followed by The California Endowment in Fresno, and the H.E. Butt Foundation in San Antonio.
“We are honored that these three respected local philanthropic organizations have generously agreed to host their region’s respective roundtable,” said Jon Funabiki, executive director of Renaissance Journalism. “Their input, advice and assistance not only lend credibility to this effort, but they are also invaluable to the success of these meetings.”