I think a strategy mentioned in the “Pathways to Engagement” article that would be relatively easy for journalists to implement when covering addiction and recovery in Philadelphia is crowdsourcing the public for questions. These questions could be directed at experts or elected officials; but, I think this could also be an interesting way to possibly gather questions readers specifically have for people in recovery that they might not feel comfortable asking otherwise.
Another technique I would be interested in seeing put into practice in Philly to cover addiction and recovery is that of collaborative media. An initiative, like The Reentry Project, that works to cover addiction and recovery across different publications could produce more thorough coverage and educate more people. In implementing this type of initiative I think it would be important to include ethnic media organizations in the city so to promote “racial justice” and bridge “cultural divides,” as the “Pathways to Engagement” article mentions.
However, specifically for our class purposes, I think student reporters may want to check in with ethnic and affinity organizations in the city to see how addiction may affect these communities differently — this is not necessarily the story, but could better inform our reporting.
For our class, I’ve also been thinking about how Covering Addiction could work to create long-term relationships with those working in the addiction and recovery fields in Philly, since I heard that there was a gap in communication during the semester when the class didn’t run. Perhaps, this void could be filled by creating a monthly newsletter with links to aggregated addiction and recovery content and sharing it with interested sources, advocates, community leaders, etc. Interested individuals could also be invited to guest write a blog post or column to share via the newsletter. It could be run by peer editors if they exist in following years. This would engage the community, while also making consistent connections.
Overall, I think the “Pathways to Engagement” article has some promising ideas that could be implemented by student reporters in our class and professional Philly journalists to practice engaged journalism while covering addiction and recovery.