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.

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.

Ghost Boat

In June 2014, 243 refugees fled Libya on a boat bound for Italy. The boat never arrived. In 2015, Medium launched the Ghost Boat project, a crowdsourced “hackathon” effort to find out what happened. The cornerstone of the Ghost Boat project is a website where investigative journalist Eric Reidy posts in-depth articles documenting the search. Interested contributors are given guides and a repository of information gathered so far. The investigation was suspended in December 2016 pending additional leads. Learn more.

Bay State Ballot Question Hackathon

Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting held a series of community journalism hackathons focused on campaign contributions for four state ballot items. 65 people came to first hackathon, where they tested an app that allowed them to scour campaign contributions. The study of state contributions data revealed newsworthy nuggets, producing a series of stories for the NECIR’s The Eye and WGBH.

Right to Know

Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism held a “Right to Know” event in March 2017 to educate the public on what rights they have to public records. The event connected right-to-know advocates and attorneys with citizens and reporters who were eager to know more about the government or had experienced frustration obtaining public records. The event featured one-on-one sessions, a detailed slide show, and a public forum for Q&A. More here, here, and here.

People, Power & Democracy

Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Along with Albuquerque’s NPR and PBS stations, New Mexico In Depth is part of People, Power & Democracy, which was an annual multimedia collaboration covering New Mexico’s state government that held annual public community engagement events. The 2017 event attracted a diverse group of approximately 40 people who discussed current government problems, ways to improve them, and suggestions for future reporting. The event was also live-streamed. More here, here, and here.

NJ Spotlight On Cities

Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. NJ Spotlight On Cities is an annual conference that brings together people who believe in vibrant urban centers. In 2016, NJ Spotlight also incorporated crowd-sourcing into planning the event schedule, and questions and issues brought up during an open session of the event informed a Q & A with gubernatorial hopefuls later that day. More than 250 people participated. More here and here.

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