Community Journalism

Photo: Inapsan, northern coast of Guam. 

Community journalism is intimate, caring, and personal; it reflects the community and tells its stories; and it embraces a leadership role.

I’m currently the community reporter for the Pacific Daily News, reporting on in-depth, investigative stories about subjects such as public housing, public assistance, public health, public hospitals and clinics, mental health and the government agencies, nonprofit groups and concerned citizens that have a stake in these areas.

In December 2012, I started working as an education reporter for the island’s most widely distributed newspaper. I reported on the challenges the public school system faced as it took on powerful new leadership and opened the doors to its first charter school.

In January 2014, I was able to shift to the community beat, which also allowed me to explore subject areas I’m truly passionate about.

I’ve been able to write stories about Guam’s high number of teen mothers who are often unable to access health care for themselves or their children. I’ve been able to write about women who have been able to exit Section 8 and food stamps by taking advantage of job training programs. I’ve been able to write about nonprofit groups building community gardens in an effort to combat diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

The biggest challenge I’ve found with this beat so far (except for the logistical challenges of working for a daily newspaper), is handling issues such as death, illness, health, families, neighbors, activism and poverty with as much objectivity, sensitivity and empathy as possible. I didn’t realize that maintaining this balance would be such a challenge, but I think it helps the story to become full of information and reflects the emotion of the people I write about and for.

Since I work in a team of other reporters, I also get to pick up some exciting breaking news stories, like…

fire instagram

What are the stories here on Guam that you think need more coverage from the local media?

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