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Heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition

Model D’s “On the Ground” Series Checks Out Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood

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Image credit: Jerome Vaughn

The publication is embedding a journalist in the historic neighborhood to get to the heart of issues area residents are facing.

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Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood is the latest subject in Model D’s “On the Ground” series.  The publication is embedding a journalist in the historic neighborhood to get to the heart of issues residents in the area are facing.

Model D managing editor Aaron Mondry is working with project editor Biba Adams to tell the stories.  The pair is partnering with community members such as Nick Sinacori,  who has lived in the neighborhood for 68 years,  to discover what residents really care about.

Mondry says Jefferson-Chalmers is site of their sixth “On The Ground” project.

It was started in 2013 as a way to dive in and highlight certain parts of the city,” Mondry says. 

Provide a platform to some of the amazing projects and people that have been doing work there for a long time.”

Project editor Biba Adams says she appreciates the opportunity to provide solutions-oriented journalism.  She says, “I’m really finding that this is giving me an opportunity to re-engage with Detroit – or to engage with the city in a different way.”

Adams says she sees herself as a bit of a hometown tourist. 

A key part of the series for Model D, is partnering with community members on the reporting project.  Nick Sinacori has been living in the neighborhood since the early 1950s.  He says, “Jefferson Chalmers is a diamond in the rough.  It’s been overlooked.”

It’s a hidden gem.  We’re along the water.  It’s at that point where the Detroit River meets Lake Saint Clair.  The fishing is great.”

Mondry adds that so much of the neighborhood is steeped in history – and that’s informing much of Model D’s storytelling.

It’s fascinating,” he says, “that you cannot talk about anything that happens in Jefferson Chalmers without referencing the historical context.”

Click the audio player above to hear WDET’s interview with Nick Sinacori, Aaron Mondry and Biba Adams.

Jerome Vaughn, News Director

Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. He joined WDET in 1992 to help chronicle Detroit’s comeback and let people around the world know the truth about his hometown.

jvaughn@wdet.org Follow @jvdet

On The Ground

This post is a part of On The Ground.

This story is a part of a partnership between WDET and ModelD/Metromode’s On The Ground series, which focuses on deep, embedded reporting in neighborhoods and cities throughout the region to bring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make their communities better. Find more stories in the partnership here.

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