I found our discussion with Aubrey Whelan refreshing and encouraging. Whelan spoke about her experience and the people she covered positively, which I think is a great quality for a journalist covering something that is too often negatively stigmatized. Whelan also gave concrete examples of struggles shes encountered in her coverage, as well as successes. It left me with a similar feeling to when Jared Whalen came to speak to my data class last semester. By listening to their real-life experiences, and seeing the positive outcomes, it made the coverage feel less daunting.
I was also glad we spoke about South Philly and the lack of coverage in that area. She made a great point about visibility, and the role it plays in where we choose to cover. In Kensington, addiction is in your face, on the streets, and not hard to find. But in places like South Philly, the majority of things are going on in private homes. This raises the barriers to covering the subject. Since our discussion, I have been trying to find ways around the barrier, and I think Whalen was right in that the answer will lie with creating strong bonds with the local community.