ZoneIn is a City Limits initiative designed to cover the de Blasio City Limits, an investigative hyperlocal news source in NYC, created the public information and civic engagement project ZoneIn in YEAR to cover the de Blasio administration’s proposed re-zoning plan. ZoneIn has since grown into the special project Mapping the Future.
Summit’s Sustainable Future: A Public Civic Event in NJ
CivicStory partnered with Summit Greenfaith Circle, an organization that includes six local houses of worship, to convene Summit’s Sustainable Future, a public event to help launch the “public input” phase of the City of Summit’s 10-year Master Plan re-examination. 60 people attended the event, which included a Q&A and lively post-event discussions; a video of the event aired over a several-week period. Learn more from the city’s 10-year master plan and a public forum.
Teaching Failure: Investigating Cancelled Classes
German investigative journalism non-profit Correctiv conducted a crowd-sourced investigation into the cancellation of classes in Dortmund schools called Unterrichtsausfall (roughly “Class Failure” or “Teaching Failure”). Journalists asked community members involved in the education system to report on class cancellations via an online platform called the Cloud Newsroom. Read the project announcement and project retrospective in German for more.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Current has initiated many engagement projects, such as The Pub, a podcast on public media’s mission, ethics, people, strategy, and future, and #IAmPublicMedia, an initiative to share stories of people working in the field. Current has held live podcast broadcasts, which attract 30-70 people per event and have helped grow the listenership to over 10,000 listens per month.
Listening Post Macon
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Listening Post Macon facilitated a weekly conversation on local issues through text messages that delivered a mix of news and questions designed to engage residents. Multiple stories came directly from community tips, including a story about a mother teaching her children to use guns because her child was shot and killed walking to the gas station. Learn more.
Office Hours on Facebook Live
In 2017, the Honolulu Civil Beat launched “Office Hours” on Facebook Live, where journalists held real-time conversations on local and international news with livestream participants. These sessions drew 2,000-4,000 views on average, with some drawing as many as 24,000 views. Civil Beat’s best sessions happened when they left their office and responded to questions and comments from their viewers. Watch past sessions or read more.
Off the Bus: Citizens Reporting on Elections
Off the Bus was a citizen journalism reporting project covering the 2008 and 2012 elections (a collaboration between the Huffington Post and NewAssignment at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute). The project connected over 12,000 citizen journalists with Huffington Post staffers to cover the election in ways traditional media couldn’t. Professional journalists acted as guides, and citizen journalists were given the tools to publish content they created.
Spotlight Club: Building Memberships
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. San Diego-based inewsource developed the Spotlight Club to generate enthusiasm and support for its work. Their first event was a discussion on the importance of investigative journalism with “real” Spotlight editor at The Boston Globe, Walter “Robby” Robinson.
Making Boundaries: A Student Investigation Project
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. IowaWatch’s 2016 College Media project, Making Boundaries, brought together 14 students to investigate efforts to limit speech on Iowa college campuses. The event was livestreamed on the bookstore’s weekly program, featured in a report on Iowa Watch’s 20-station network, and written up in related news stories at other Iowa news outlets.
Jersey Shore Hurricane News
Jersey Shore Hurricane News began in 2011 as a Facebook community page dedicated to sharing news about Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. JSHN joined the Listening Post Collective and launched several engagement projects to deepen its connection with the community, such as setting up audio listening and comment recording booths and hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with a mayor.
Morning Fill-Up & News ’n’ Brews
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The Lens holds regular morning coffee chats at its office and happy hours at local bars. There’s no formal programming; rather, engaged readers and members freely discuss what The Lens is and isn’t covering with reporters. These face-to-face discussions have built trust and provided The Lens with some of its best news tips.
Making Connections: Public Legislator Database
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. In 2016, The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting created a searchable database on local lawmakers’ private financial interests, sponsored legislation, and committee appointments to make this information more accessible to the public. Learn more in their guide and the original announcement.