Jennifer Szweda Jordan’s episodic web series documents personal and historical stories from Pittsburghers past and present who live and work in the Uptown neighborhood.
Uptown Stories is a web-based interactive series of seven personal stories that will be released in three episodes. It will document the stories of people who live and work here (or who spent significant time here in the past), telling a timely history of a neighborhood in transition. Uptown Stories is organized by Unabridged Press, a brand new journalism organization. Although Uptown is one of Pittsburgh’s most geographically important and prominent neighborhoods, it is often overlooked and underserved. The series will solicit personal stories, and amplify local voices. The purpose of the project will be to tie different perspectives together in a unique way, showcasing the people and personalities of Uptown in serialized form.
As newspaper readership has declined, and the media landscape has been shaken up in recent years, offering new opportunities for trying innovative approaches, we’ve studied many new models of journalism around the country and found inspiration for this project. Uptown Stories will look to engage residents in different ways, organizing events at the deaf social club, Jubilee Soup Kitchen service center for the poor, at an Uptown Community Garden, and the Paramount Theater space being redeveloped in Uptown.
As well as looking at the issues already getting press here, the project will give a more balanced and nuanced portrayal of life in Uptown. And we’re really breaking new ground--other recent video projects have focused on justifying funding into the area. Uptown Stories is an effort to explain the state of a diverse community in transition through the stories and life of the people who make up the neighborhood.
Learn more about Uptown Stories at unabridgedpress.com