I was updating the stats for our Website recently and discovered a few interesting facts. First: one-third of people visiting the RBAC Web site are doing so from their smart phones or other mobile devices. This percentage has been edging up over the past two years. And nearly 600 of those people visit our Web site from an iPhone, far more than from any other mobile device.

But wait, there is a more intriguing statistic. Five years or so ago, when we were first engaging youth in posting “headlines” to our Web site through Twitter, over half of the youth had simple flip phones, and several youth had no phones at all. (Incidentally, this is why we went with Twitter early on, since you could post through Twitter via simple text messaging without requiring any Internet connection.)

Today, every youth we employ has a smart phone, most commonly an iPhone, but a fairly sophisticated smart phone of any brand, not a single “flip phone” in the bunch.

The Revolution has indeed arrived.

As you may remember, the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter was born on Twitter in the midst of the events in Ferguson, MO, as the African American community sought to establish a channel of information to counter the misrepresentations of the mainstream press.

And now, that newly created grassroots Power of the Press is in the hands of a whole lot more  people, and especially our youth.

SE Seattle FreedomNet, RBAC’s Citizen Journalism program has sought to reinforce this emerging Power of the Press by addressing its chief vulnerability, who can you trust, and the related, but even more critical issue, how can any individual citizen, particularly a youth, earn trust as a source of neighborhood information. The Rainier Beach NewsWire, which appears on the RBAC homepage,  is an experiment in surfacing a network of entrusted sources across the community, and engaging youth in that network.

To Be Continued. Intrigued? Email ken@rbactioncoalition.org

Here are a few video web post and FaceBook Live “infomercials to get a sense of what is being produced by the RBAC FreedomNet Citizen Journalist.

FaceBook Live “Infomercials” January

·       East African Lobby Day

Web posts and FaceBook Live “Informercials” March

·       Safeway Corner Greeter

·       Lake Washington Apartments Corner Greeter

·       Rose Street Scouting