Focused on neighbors in Santa María La Ribera, the Participative Journalism Workshop aimed at developing communication tools needed for written and visual journalism to address different problems and to narrate events and news in their barrio in order to promote professional and responsible information about their neighborhood. Professional journalists were invited to coordinate the joint efforts of the participants. Each one-month unit is dedicated to developing specific working practices that may be useful to the participants.
The first was an introductory unit coordinated by Raúl Aníbal Sánchez, a neighbor who is the editor of Rivera Ribera, a neighborhood newspaper. Sánchez focused on sharing basic journalistic tools and asked participants to write an article.
Common Hero was the name of the second unit, which was coordinated by editor and journalist Carlos Acuña. This unit was devoted to developing the use of narrative tools to write a text where research was presented in such a way that it captured the reader’s interest. The challenge was to balance rigorous research and appealing language.
Iván Mayorquín, contributor of Pictoline, coordinated Graphic Narrative, the third unit. He worked with the participants to summarize news and events in graphic formats that were clear and appealing.
The fourth unit was Collaborative Writing, which was coordinated by editor Vivian Abenshushan. It focused on developing a narrative based mainly on the visual potential of language in order to explore humor and irony, as well as social observation.
Ways of Seeing was the fifth unit. Coordinated by writer Verónica Gerber, it was devoted to developing skills to analyze images. Participants used images and text to discover the communication potential of everyday images aimed at attracting readers and which might move, manipulate, or produce further understanding in the viewer.
Those neighbors interested in publishing their results in the Rivera Ribera neighborhood newspaper approached the editor to jointly rework their products and to learn how to prepare material to be published. On the other hand, those neighbors who would rather use other media published their material on social networks or as part of other projects in the barrio.