West Philly Local is a community news website I began in the fall of 2010 as an experiment in community publishing. My goal was to build a self-sustaining site that was relentlessly local and implement a revenue model based only on advertising (both banner ads and more “organic” promotion with social media) from locally owned businesses . The site serves a diverse collection of neighborhoods in West Philadelphia.
A multimedia documentary project that tells the stories of four juvenile lifers, people who are serving life without parole for crimes they were convicted of when they were under 18. Pennsylvania currently has more juvenile lifers – about 500 – than any state in the country. There are currently some than 2,500 juvenile lifers in the United States. In every other country in the world combined there are 0.
The collaborative project combines methods and ideas from oral history, development communication and counterpublics research to create a site aimed at disrupting traditional narratives of incarceration.