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RTN Offers Community Winter Grassroots Journalism Workshop

By Tyronda James

The community-powered news outlet Reclaiming the Narrative has begun its latest offerings of their ongoing Grassroots Journalism Workshop Series this week.

RTN, an initiative of WXIR Community Radio, in Rochester, NY first launched as a new outlet in 2018. They are a weekly news radio program produced by community journalists for WXIR 100.9 FM and rebroadcast on WAYO 104.3 FM.

The news outlet covers “stories, movements, and events that matter to local urban communities, while also providing training and experience for grassroots journalists,” as stated on the website.

“Rochester needs citizen journalists and savvy news consumers now more than ever,” said RTN Director Darien Lamen.

“People who can ask good questions, bear witness, and speak truth to power.” 

The well attended Grassroots Journalism Workshop Series first kicked off last fall on the basics of news writing. The GJW series aims to empower community members to seek answers to questions of public significance.

The Media Literacy workshop series begins with two-part virtual workshops; Resources for Reading News Critically on Jan. 12 and Propaganda Techniques on Jan. 26.  Both workshops will be held via Zoom from 6:00-7:30 pm. 

The workshops are a partnership with WXIR Community Radio public affairs program “Evidence of Design,” and are facilitated by Mary Lawrence, EoD Co-Host and RTN contributor. 

The first workshop’s focus was on resources for reading news critically, learners also got an overview of media literacy and developing skills to identify fake and biased news. Part 2’s, participants will be taught to spot logical fallacies, emotional appeals, and more. 

“We hope these classes will provide more people with the skills and know-how to take up a cell phone, an audio recorder, or a notepad and start reporting on issues of importance in their communities,” Lamen said.

RTN will offer two additional workshops focused on media production. In “Live-Streaming as News Reporting,” Lamen will discuss the best practices and ethics of live-streaming from protests and other newsworthy events. That workshop takes place on Jan. 20 at 6 PM.

During February, RTN will offer individuals an opportunity to become contributors to RTN through the 

news production workshop, “Producing NPR-Style News Stories for Radio.” Held on Feb 3., it will be a  two-hour crash course for aspiring radio reporters.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops. Classes are online and open to the public at large. There is a suggested donation for the Media Literacy workshops. Media production classes are free. More information on how to register is available on Reclaiming the Narrative’s Facebook page at

To register and for additional information visit the following link at