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The police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis generated a significant amount of conversation and coverage, while the killing of environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán in a Georgia state police raid just weeks later has gotten considerably less attention. This time in our monthly feature, Meet the BIPOC Press, Laura Flanders and Sara Lomax of URL Media talk with two journalists who have been reporting on these stories for local Black-led outlets. Is there anything in their response that might deepen how we think about power and race, racism, police and public safety? Our guests are Gavin Godfrey, Atlanta editor at Capital B, and Report for America corps member Brittany Brown, a reporter at MLK50: Justice Through Journalism where she covers criminal justice and labor in Memphis.
“. . . We saw national media parachute into Memphis really covering the flashpoint moment that this was for the city . . . At MLK50, we’re really focused on highlighting the continuing efforts that are going on every week.” – Brittany Brown
“I think what separates our coverage from local coverage in the city is that we are trying to find out how this affects the people that are the most affected. Most of local news is talking to officials, law enforcement officials, and then getting a couple of quotes and clips from protestors without a lot of context.” – Gavin Godfrey
“Our communities need to have outlets . . . that are coming from the ground up and from our people. I’m really grateful that there is a new wave of Black media outlets that are doing the work in Atlanta, in Memphis, in Philadelphia, all over the country . . .” – Sara Lomax
Brittany Brown: Criminal Justice & Labor Reporter, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Gavin Godfrey: Atlanta Editor, Capital B
Sara Lomax: Co-Founder, URL Media; President & CEO, WURD Radio
Portions of this interview are featured in our episode, “Black Journalists on Police Violence: Reporting from the Ground Up.”