A Chicago-based civic media organization has been working over the last few months to have Detroiters document important meetings in the city. City Bureau has trained a group of residents to attend public meetings on education and report on what happened.
Ada Nicole Smith is an education consultant. Eleanor Catolico is a freelance journalist with a background in education. Both signed up for the documenters program, which is covering education meetings during its first phase.
Smith says she heard about the program from a friend and was intrigued. She says providing important information to Detroit residents can prevent problems in the educational system from festering.
“When you think about things that sometimes get people riled up as it relates to education — school closings or shortage of funds, teacher walkouts over pay”, says Smith, “things that get people riled up.”
“If you took the time to educate folks before we got to that point, maybe sometime we won’t get to those points.”
Citizen Detroit and WDET have partnered with Chicago-based City Bureau on the project.
Documenters will report on a Detroit school board sub-committee meeting Monday evening.
You can follow live tweeting from the meeting at #DetroitDocumenters.
Hit the audio button above to hear an interview with Ada Nicole Smith and Eleanor Catolico about their experiences in the Detroit Documenters program.