Pop-up food trucks, fashion boutiques, flea markets. Now, there are pop-up newsrooms, too, thanks to BBC Pop Up. A truly mobile newsroom, BBC has sent a small crew of video journalists to travel around North America for six months to embed themselves in a place and dig around for good stories.
For their first stop, the team is in Boulder, Colo., where they’ve been since last week. Here’s their first dispatch on how residents have dealt with the aftermath of the Jamestown floods:
Mathew Danzico, of the Pop Up team and BBC’s Video Innovation Lab, says the project is about “empowering residents to tell their stories.” The team is posted together in a house and working out of a co-working space in the area. Since arriving, they’ve held town hall meetings to announce their presence, meet with residents and pick their brains about what to cover. They’re also holding journalism workshops at local universities.
— BBC Pop Up (@BBCpopup) September 9, 2014
Their next stop is Baton Rouge, La., but after that, they’re hoping for a “little serendipity,” says Danzico. Just yesterday morning, he struck up a conversation with their neighbor while grabbing the paper at the end of the driveway. The guy suggested the team hit Albuquerque along the way. “So, we might be headed to New Mexico,” Danzico says.
Apart from living in a house with a bunch of caffeinated video journalists, isn’t it hard to fit in and find a beat in just a month? Danzico says he has a list of rules for “How to Be a Native,” which includes things that any curious traveler or professional journo should do in a new place: read the local newspaper, work in public places, tell the community you’re there. He says they’ve used social media to tell residents where they are and have gotten good feedback. Another rule? Join in on the fun. One of the team members has been joining pick-up soccer games to get to know the locals. That’s a good gig.