Arjuna Soriano

Arjuna Soriano will build a local sports community engagement guide which will utilize community reporters and SMS communication to produce high-value high school and community league sports coverage for newsrooms with limited resources.

Soriano, sustainability lab director for Media in Color, wants to harness the passion and knowledge of local community members to produce high school and community league sports coverage — content that is highly valued by local communities but is rarely covered by larger regional and city newspapers. 

Soriano’s solution is to engage people like parents or coaches to report scores, upload photos or videos and write short stories about the games. Using an automated SMS messaging system, these community members would be sent links where they could upload the materials, which will be published via a partnership between Media in Color and the San Fernando Valley Sun. The project will result in a guide showing news organizations how to replicate the model.

“For a larger outlet, covering sports down to the high school level is time and resource intensive,” Soriano said. “The other outlets that would cover it are very local, but their resources are limited. But communities are very engaged in these sports, and local businesses do like to support their local teams, so there is definitely an audience there. We’re trying to bridge that gap between the audience and outlets that don’t have a lot of resources.”