On Main Street LA is a group of seven journalism students at USC's Annenberg School for Journalism and Communications under the guidance of professor Robert Hernandez. The goal of the project was to explore an area of Los Angeles that is right in our backyard, yet seldom visited by any of us. This website represents a collection of the stories, sights, and sounds of Main Street, Los Angeles.
When we made our first visits to Main Street, many of us felt that is seemed almost uninhabited -- a collection of warehouse after warehouse. It seemed like a daunting place to find a semesters worth of stories. Yet, the more we explored the more we found Main Street to be full of not just interesting stories but interesting people. As such, the website is organized not just by place but also by people. For every story we reported and wrote, we made it a goal to attach the face of a person involved in the story. By doing this, we've tried to illustrate how Main Street has transformed for us from a collection of signless stores and warehouse to a place where real Angelenos make their livings and go about their lives.
On Main Street is also an exercise in exploring new multimedia web journalism techniques. Throughout the layout of the page and in each of the individual stories, you'll find "webby" elements designed to enhance the the words on the page by providing the stories with audio, visual, and interactive features. We went to Main Street not just with notepads but also digital cameras, video recorders, audio recorders, and laptops, with the purpose of recreating the experience of Main Street on the internet. In each story and throughout the website you'll find elements like audio and visual slideshows, movies, and interactive maps to help tell and enhance our stories.
Exploring Main Street at times has been a challenging experience for us, but it has also been a rewarding one. One of the most compelling aspects of this project has been discovering a neighborhood we never knew existed just blocks away from where we all live and study. All of us were a little skeptical when we received our assignment to spend an entire semester reporting on a street full of unmarked buildings, but the stories we've found and people we've met have been some of the most interesting and rewarding of our journalism careers. We hope this website will entertain and inform you and make you reconsider what sort of things you'd never know were happening right near you.
And of course, thank you to the people of Main Street, Los Angeles, for your time, fascinating stories, and enthusiasm.