The Listening Post Collective recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its parent organization, Internews, which was founded in 1982 in the Bay Area as part of a Cold-War era effort to archive media about nuclear war, create a two-way conversation with Soviet youth, and link the US Congress via satellite with Soviet government officials. Over four decades Internews has grown to work in more than 100 countries, and through the Listening Post Collective, taken what it’s learned supporting civic media worldwide and bring those strategies and resources back home to communities around the U.S.
As part of the event, Internews celebrated its work with local media worldwide, starting with our LPC partner Anthony Victoria, who received an Excellence In Journalism award.
Here’s a transcript of Anthony’s acceptance speech:
I want to thank Listening Post Collective and Internews for helping to reignite my spark for news, information and civic power by investing in the mission of my local news outlet, The Frontline Observer. I am a strong example of your core principle of supporting truth and the people who work everyday to report it. I am establishing a two-way conversation with my community, so they can get the news they need AND be heard.
At the heart of my journalism is a commitment to tell the stories of people who encounter the hardship of air pollution and worker exploitation. My passion for environmental justice news writing comes from my own experiences growing up amid the shadows of Southern California’s freight network and the vein of the global supply chain.
My community suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the U.S. due to thousands of trucks, trains and planes that help move goods for companies like Amazon that extract cheap labor from people and leave behind a public health crisis. It is precisely why at this moment in history, I find it very important to establish The Frontline Observer as an independent news platform for journalists and storytellers to work collectively to put a spotlight on the Inland Empire’s movement for environmental justice by reporting from the frontlines of this social change.
The tenets that make journalism so fruitful and essential — fairness, accuracy and truth — are allowing the growing pool of media talent in my area to use The Frontline Observer and other mediums to challenge the status quo.
Andrew Vachss, the late writer and children’s rights advocate, said that “journalism is what maintains democracy. It’s the force of progressive change.” Because of the renewed hope that Internews and Listening Post Collective has given through their support, I have made it my life’s mission to use community-based journalism to drive the progressive change that the Inland Empire needs to have good jobs, clean air and peace.
I want to end this speech by thanking my wife Dianey, thanking my immediate and extended family, and most of all, by thanking my late-mother, Gloria Leticia Victoria, for always supporting my dream of being a writer.
Thank you all again so much.
The evening also featured Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa, who runs the digital news site Rappler, who mapped out how the Philippines and the U.S. are intertwined in their fight against disinformation. Ressa said while lies are proven to travel significantly faster than facts online, she’s also pioneered fact-checking and media literacy work in the Philippines that’s shown “inspiration spreads as fast as hate.”
The Ukrainian non-profit Institute for Mass Information was honored at the event as well. IMI Executive Director Oksana Romaniuk accepted her Excellence In Journalism award via video from Kyiv, thanking Internews for years of support, including most recently providing flak jackets that have enabled Ukrainian media to report more safely as the war with Russia continues.