Community Journalism during COVID-19
What We Do
Our intergenerational Koreatown Storytelling Project is a community journalism/oral history program that brings together youth journalists with elders who were asked to isolate during the Safer-at-Home orders in Los Angeles. Over five months, our intrepid reporters documented what quarantine life in Koreatown has been like—for themselves, for the elders whom they befriended, and the community we live in.
Who We Are
The Koreatown Storytelling Project is a KYCC intergenerational program that stemmed from a community photo project that interviewed people who live and work in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. It is part of KYCC’s Intergenerational Initiative, which was launched in 2017 with the generous and ongoing support of The Eisner Foundation, which identifies, advocates for, and invests in high-quality and innovative programs that unite multiple generations for the enrichment of our communities.
Our storytelling program was to bring together seven young Koreatown journalists with a group of community elders for a series of in-depth, in-person interviews.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and face-to-face interactions between youth and elders became nonviable, the program pivoted to combine with KYCC’s emergency food delivery initiative to reach elders in isolation. Beginning in April 2020, our youth journalists called their elder contacts for weekly check-ins, developed personal relationships with them, and began to document their own quarantine experiences via writing, interviews, photos, audio recordings and video.
In addition to the interviews, the program meets weekly via Zoom workshops, where a guest journalist joins in to discuss details about their career and provide journalistic tips and insights. Speakers have included reporters, editors and photojournalists from the Associated Press, CNN and The Korea Times.
The Koreatown Storytelling Program is also partnering with StoryCorps Connect, which was developed as an online platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students recorded each other and their interviews are archived at The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
We’d love to hear from you and hear your thoughts about our project. Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
3727 W. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020