Entering the Asian and black communities in Champaign.

We’re fortunate enough to be engaged in an ongoing project about demographic changes in Central Illinois with our friends and colleagues at Citizen Access.

We’ve done the gathering and analysis of many different data sets-we’ve looked at data about population, home ownership, jobs, foreclosures, food stamps, health and schools, among others-and have honed in on the stories each of us are tackling.

One of the many part I like about working at Hoy is following Fernando Diaz’s philosophy of publishing as we go, rather than waiting until the end of the project.

We’ve started that process with all three of the major stories in which we are engaged-pieces about the Filipino community in Champaign, the black communities in Champaign and Urbana, and the Latino community in Rantoul.

Today we published a couple of stories  that continue our coverage.

The first is a video that Sam Vega made and that I wrote about entering the Asian community by going to the Far East grocery story on Fifth Street in Champaign.

The Diep family has owned the place since 1987, and, through their ceaseless work, have grown its size and offerings.

I also published a story about the fear many black residents report feeling toward the police in Champaign.  This piece came after I wrote about arrest disparities in the community and after Sam Vega and I spent the day going around and talking with folks in a couple of black neighborhoods.

Many of the people we talked with did not want to be quoted for fear of reprisal.

We’ll keep covering the story, and, as always, questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.


4 responses to “Entering the Asian and black communities in Champaign.

  1. Jeff,
    I am never surprised to hear about how blacks across America fear the police departments in their communities. I was listening to a radio program yesterday morning and the topic was about how there is still racial discrimination against black applicants to the Boston Police Academy! I believe this issues will continue throughout are lifetime, but we’ll press on!


  2. Print media is shrinking, digital media is growing. Hoy seems to have a foothold in both markets and is covering stories larger outlets either shy away from or havent the time or resources or money to write about.
    You are an increasingly important link to real news, with solid data to back up your investigations. Your readers can make up their own conclusions after looking at your data.
    And Fernando’s philosophy makes sense. Let the story develop, tell it as it unfolds, an enriching experience for both readers and reporters.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, PT. We’re doing what we can and having fun along the way.

      I’ve learned from and enjoyed what you’ve been doing in NOLA, my friend!


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