Community-focused digital magazine to debut Friday • St Pete Catalyst
the Saint Petien is back.
Although the original, full-color quarterly only lasted a year (2016-17), it left such an impression on Meiko Seymour that he contacted the publication’s creator, writer/photographer Amelia Bartlett, to ask him if he could borrow the name and start the Saint Petien once again.
Seymour, the executive pastor of Pinellas Community Church, wanted to use the magazine for a higher purpose than Bartlett’s version, which focused almost entirely on culture.
He calls the new edition of the Saint Petien, which will debut on Friday, a way to “platform” the townspeople. To give voice to ordinary people.
“Very often we try to solve the problems in our city and find solutions, but it is very rare that we go down to our neighborhoods,” Seymour explained. “It’s very rare that we look at individuals, how they experience the city, and what events may be happening in the city due to politics. Or as a result of an event – even if it is a positive event.
The goal, he said, is “equity through culture, conversation and community.”
And this requires input from all corners of St. Petersburg. “We believe that our city’s expertise resides in the citizens of the city,” Seymour added. “If you want to know where the best local spots are, ask a local, right? We have such diversity in our city, not only in race and age, but also in our restaurants and our coffee scene, our arts scenes and things like that.
“We kind of want to get away from hearing the same people over and over again, and really try to give a space and a platform to those who wouldn’t usually have the means to have their voices heard.”
Each issue of the new Saint Petien – the plan is for three each year – will be thematic. “The theme of this first issue is “Expectations”. We entered 2020 with high expectations and found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. In 2021, what have we learned from doing this the year before?
“We think you can always have expectations, but the way you sail might be a little different than in years past. So we look at what’s posted on social media platforms – what’s tweeted by ordinary residents – and through our listening skills and our team, we pick up themes. How people talk about what’s going on. And specifically, in this first issue, how are people talking about moving into the new year? »
Seymour’s team includes seasoned journalists and editors, podcast professionals, and communication equity experts and watchful eyes. Each issue (online only at the moment) will include interviews, quizzes and submissions curated by readers.
This kind of “true town hall,” Seymour believes, is necessary for the city to move forward, “where we listen to each other. Where we discuss and debate, in a healthy way, the different ideas that come from our own lived experiences.
The neighborhoods, he explained, all have differences from each other. “I sincerely believe that we have good and bad, ugly and great things, but we miss knowing what those things are because we usually go to people who are at the system change level to see ‘What’s going on? does he? What are people talking about?
“While we really need to go and see the individual resident. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”