Introducing the talented young woman leading The Local to new horizons.
As far as good omens go, publishing your first newspaper on the day you turn 30 has gotta be up there. Tamara Russell, aka Proof of Consciousness – Cheyney grad and founder of REVIVE Media – has another reason she’s pumped to be taking the reins at The Local: it’s been a lifelong dream, to create a printed version of what she does on the air at REVIVE, talking to everyone she can at schools, fairs, concerts, wherever people gather.
Just a little backstory for me. Growing up watching Black sitcoms, one of my favorites was Living Single. Queen Latifah was the main character, a young entrepreneur who started an urban-lifestyle publication, Flavor Magazine. It was supposed to be like Ebony and Jet, you know, and that inspired my interest in media. I loved how she had her own magazine! Being able to put flavor in people’s ears and eyes, with tangible resource like a newspaper, that’s so incredible to me. It’s like a dream come true.
And the best part – it’s 2022! This is not your average newspaper, no one’s mistaking this for the the NY Times or even the Inquirer. You’re gonna get news and information with all the colors, all the vibes. You’re gonna get the sprinkles, the glitter, the jazz. That’s why I’m super excited to be doing this with The Local because they are not your average paper. When you pick up a Local, you know you’re going to get a little bit of art and entertainment, some street culture, some political insight and opinions. Real voices from real people. That’s what REVIVE is about, too!
A local paper, though, is more than just the sum of all the different viewpoints on the page. It’s a literal document of what it’s like to live right here, at this place and time in history. Legacy news outlets follow the rich and famous, leaving whole swaths of society grossly underrepresented.
REVIVE Local paper seeks to correct that. Every month, it’s like a snapshot of the most important stories and issues that everyday people care about. Presented by the strongest neighborhood voices, unfiltered from a variety of media platforms, designed for the page by artists and other creatives. We’re reviving print, as a fresh and exciting medium of the People, by the People and for the People.
Print is immortal! There’s records and archives, personal collections. Anyone in the future will be able to pull out a drawer full of Locals, and have that direct insight into our lives, long after we’re long gone. I definitely plan on being in a historian’s file one day with this newspaper.
And it’s a natural fit. REVIVE Radio is an internet based platform — it’s not something you can reach out and touch but more like a vehicle for engagement and growth. That’s why “Revive Is Alive” – because the heart of our digital news and information is engagement, right? So now those fluid, peer-to-peer ways of sharing and understanding our experiences can be described with words, and expressed in pictures on a written page someone can pick up and take with them anywhere. “Here, look at this.” That’s an engagement, too. And another way print can help bring people together.
Philadelphia is the 2nd most segregated large city in the country, where our population is roughly 50/50 but two demographics occupy parallel lives of great disparity that rarely intersect. Not on these pages! The Local is a conscious collaboration for racial media integration.
I’ll be transparent, this is my first time working with someone outside of my race in this capacity. So being able to have these conversations with a white man and a white woman — and we all are seeing things the same way, or else we’re eager to learn. Like, “Yo, what does that mean?” And there’s a lot of that! But we don’t judge each other. We’re all learning. Them from me, and me from them. We’re in a triangle, connecting all the dots.
And Steve and Carolyn, they’ve done a great job building this paper and now we’re gonna make it hip, right? There’ll be more day-to-day from the Black and Brown communities, more music, food and art. That’s one thing we are all excited about, amplifying new voices. There are so many bloggers, youtubers, artists, producers… All colors, all ages, all over the city. I think we all share that dream, of turning up the volume on all kinds of neighborhood conversations, so we can talk to each other across whatever boundaries are between us.
Indeed, since 2017, P.O.C. has been a powerhouse in broadcasting and community advocacy – including a series of gun violence awareness events in Germantown last year (another partnership with The Local). She’s released a documentary, she’s creating podcasting opportunities for high schoolers. We could not be more excited to have this talented and empowered young woman leading The Local to new horizons on the news and information landscape.
Shout out to NW Philly readers! I’ve been learning about the real community in this part of the city, they really care about the parks and the buildings and the people. Thank you for teaching me that, for showing me that spark of action we all need inside of us. I want the paper to always feed that.
Thank you to my REVIVE followers, for being on this ride with me. After these five years in radio, I’m so happy to offer a whole new platform for your voices and stories to be heard. This paper is for all of us! For communities to thrive, we need to be connected, and that starts with knowing each other. I can’t wait to see what we’ll create together.
Shout out to my team! Tab is my blood sister, she’s been rocking with me since February 5 2017, keeping my business running smooth behind the scenes. And Harmony, she’s the best guest coordinator and I also appreciate all her help on social media. Big shout out to Exhibit A, she’s been our media production for the past year and a half. I’m so grateful for each and every one of these talented women. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. You are so appreciated.
As an equal collaborative publication, the new Local paper now has a variety of lenses to explore local issues that affect us all: art, food, music, business, development, politics, safety, education, environment and much more. This’ll be an ongoing effort; expect to see some interesting changes (including a new website) over the coming months.
Here’s to a Local news revival! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback, ideas, tips, story pitches, musical interludes, interpretive dance — honestly, whatever you have to share, we’re wide open: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t promise we’ll use it, but we’re certainly interested.