The Entryway is a multimedia project where a couple white chicks move in with immigrant Latino families to learn Spanish.
The project lit up the world of new media a couple of weeks ago. Most notably,The Knight Foundation, which gives very large grants to fund projects like The Entryway, put up a glowing review of the project and referred people to Spot.us to donate to the project. Anh Do, Spot's managing editor in LA kicked in $500.00.
The Entryway then got a shoutout on LA Observed where blogger Daniel Hernandez read it and had a completely different perspective on the project than the bloggers up to that point -- seeing it as a Safari in LA.
And an interesting dialogue began online where people had starkly different views on the very same material.
We decided to take this heated conversation off line and have the two sides sit down together at the KPCC studios for a virtual roundtable. The conversation is here.
Since The Entryway ladies couldn't make it onto the show, we had Susannah Breslin come on who wrote this blog. We also had Ask a Mexican's Gustavo Arellano, who had been commenting on the various Entryway blogs.
Susannah's take was that in a time when journalism is dying all around us two women took it upon themselves to embark on a brave journey. Without editorial supervision, of course they made mistakes!
Queena's take was that she didn't fault them for the journalistic mistakes, but for what she saw as their inability to connect to the family on a human level -- and that you don't need journalism experience for that.
Gustavo chimed in with, "well they're just being bad guests" by "ridiculing" the very people they're supposed to be getting to know.
Susannah said that could very well be, but like it or not, this is the future of journalism and there's nothing anyone can do to change that!
She just might be right. After all TMZ did a better job than most of keeping track of where our bailout money went.
Tanya Jo Miller
***Note: The Knight Foundation has since removed the link to spot.us because the foundation says it "seemed to lead some to wrongly assume that Knight was funding or endorsing the Entryway".