Citizen Journalists Document an Unforgettable Year
It takes discipline to write something every single day for a year, to find something interesting and to put it into words.
But Jim Busch, a resident of White Oak, southeast of Pittsburgh, did just that throughout the pandemic, contributing a blog post 365 days from March 2020 through this spring. He was one of eleven Mon Valley residents who contributed to the McKeesport Community Newsroom's diary project with their words and images.
We recently downloaded all of the work, and it covers more than 400,000 words – not quite War and Peace but pretty close.
These citizen journalists did not just contribute quantity either. Jim wrote about his wife’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and how the pandemic kept him from being with her when she found out and then started treatments. Others wrote about the presidential election, racism and friends who died from the virus.
All of us have been through a lot over the past year, and artifacts such as this serve as valuable reminders of all that we have lost and endured. You can find examples of their work here.
– Director Andrew Conte and CMI staff
Header: "Spring is coming." Photograph by Jennifer McCalla.