Epicenter-NYC and TBN24, members of URL Media, a network of high-performing Black and Brown media organizations, together with ClearHealthCosts, a journalism company bringing transparency to the healthcare marketplace, took the first place spot in the Local Media Digital Innovation Awards for  Best Audience Listening Strategy. These organizations won for their collective life-saving vaccine efforts. 

The judges noted:

This project is truly inspiring. Partnering with two other news organizations to bring a life-saving vaccine to a community in need brings new meaning to journalism’s mission of ‘serving the public.’ The group partnered on a vaccine van location and on transportation to bring residents to the van. This line right here says it all: ‘Meeting people where they are. Engagement. Listening.’ This is how journalism changes peoples’ lives.

“This award recognizes the need to center service and listening in our journalism,” said Epicenter-NYC publisher and cofounder S. Mitra Kalita. “It also shows the power of collaboration and nontraditional ways of hiring, working, and providing information. I am especially proud of our teams on the ground, mostly women of color, who heroically helped us connect tens of thousands of New Yorkers to vaccines.”

Meeting people where they are, literally and digitally, is at the heart of how Epicenter started and continues to engage communities since the height of the pandemic. Founded in 2020, Epicenter is a community journalism multiplatform initiative that started as a newsletter to connect neighbors and has helped thousands of New Yorkers access vaccines including against Covid-19 and monkeypox, with more than 25,000 people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

For more information about Epicenter-NYC and to access vaccine and other resources, visit epicenter-nyc.com

Carolina Valencia is longtime media and digital executive who has worked at The New York Times, Univision and The Recount. A native of Guayaquil, Ecuador who grew up in Queens, Carolina also worked for...

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