e Lepage Center, Lenfest Center, and The Inquirer will collaborate through the grant on a pilot initiative that will bring together local historians and local journalists who each research and report on topics of critical import to society: the opioid crisis, immigration, and infrastructure.
“Historians and journalists are both dedicated to understanding the world around us through careful gathering of evidence, critical analysis of sources, and honest inquiries into societal affairs,” said Lepage Center director Jason Steinhauer. “Collaboration between these two professions will help Philadelphians better understand these issues, help combat misinformation in our public sphere, and further media and historical literacy in our region.”
journalists and local historians will participate in a one-day working session to share expertise, resources, and formulate story ideas around these three societal issues. Following the workshop, the journalists and historians will collaborate on stories that will appear in either The Inquirer
or Inquirer.com. Podcast conversations and/or audio stories may also be released.
“Providing strong historical context is something our readers appreciate and our journalists always strive to achieve,” said Stan Wischnowski, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We think this partnership with our local historians could unlock a deeper level of understanding on local topics of great public interest.”
The initiative between historians and journalists is envisioned as an initial step in bringing these two professions into closer working relationship. The Lepage Center will seek additional support to fund similar collaborations in Philadelphia and other cities.
“The Lenfest Institute is deeply committed to supporting local journalism and to strengthening civic and historical literacy,” said Lenfest Institute Executive Director & CEO Jim Friedlich. “Where better than Philadelphia to launch an initiative that brings together journalists and historians dedicated to truth and understanding, informed and enlightened by the lessons of the past.”