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.
Fresno Bee education reporter and Center for Health Journalism fellow Mackenzie Mays spent nine months producing a series entitled Too Young? The series covers teen pregnancy in Fresno, California, with a particular focus on how sex education is taught in the Fresno Unified School District. The series hasn’t been without incident. After she reported on a student’s story of facing discrimination from school administrators after becoming pregnant, she came under personal and professional attack from a high level school administrator, both on social media and in through interviews of the administrator conducted by other local media.
The Off/Page Project, a collaboration between the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and Youth Speaks, combines investigative reporting and youth poetry. Journalists from CIR share details of their investigations with youth storytellers and collaborate to write poetry that is both profound performance art and factually accurate reporting. The resulting poetry is then performed publicly, either in-person or through multimedia packages. Learn more about this project from Mashable and Youth Radio.
In 2014, ProPublica launched its Six Words youth engagement project in partnership with The Race Card Project. This project responded to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ending “separate but equal” legislation, and focused on two Alabama high schools—one integrated, one all-black. ProPublica reporters invited students from each school to meet and share their experiences around the re-segregation happening in their communities and photograph their experiences in school.
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.
Democracy Dies in Dankness
“Democracy Dies in Dankness.” That’s the tagline of the Washington Post‘s official Reddit profile. The tagline mirrors the Post’s informal, even irreverant, approach on Reddit. Managed by social media editor and long-time Reddit user Gene Park, the Post’s Reddit profile participates on the platform just like any other Reddit user, engaging in humorous banter, posting memes, and playing it straight with other users. This approach has helped the Post build meaningful relationships with Reddit users, who have jumped at opportunities to ask questions during Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with reporters and learn about the Post’s reporting process.
News Exchange: Statewide Listening Series
In 2014, Carolina Public Press launched News Exchange, a series of free public meetings to invite communities to provide direct feedback on their local reporting efforts. Community members made suggestions for improvements, pitched story ideas, and allowed community members to discuss important issues with each other. Since its launch, the News Exchange has hosted dozens of events in several North Carolina counties. Learn more at Mountain Xpress and MediaShift.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Oklahoma Watch hosts an annual public forum series called “Oklahoma Watch-Out.” The series includes moderated discussions with newsmakers and prominent elected officials on topics such as public health, education, and criminal justice. Events typically attract 60-80 people, and videos of the discussions are posted on oklahomawatch.org. Public radio and TV stations also feature the events as part of their regular programming. More here, here, and here.
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.
Hurricane Irma Map
Launched by The New Tropic in collaboration with WLRN and The Miami Foundation, the Hurricane Irma Map is a crowd-sourced mapping tool that allows users to search for and add information about resources and impacts in their area. Before Hurricane Irma, the content primarily focused on storm preparation resources. During and after the hurricane, the tool refocused on reports of storm damage and environmental hazards, as well as where to find or participate in relief operations. Learn more in “The New Tropic teamed up with an NPR station to help Florida residents find shelter from Hurricane Irma (and survey the damage after)“ by Ren LaForme (Poynter; September 7, 2017).
Story Map: Visualization Tool
Story Map is a mapping tool that uses in-story geocode integration to highlight the direct geographic relevance of news coverage. The Austin Monitor aimed to use the tool to increase site traffic and turn readers into subscribers. Though subscribers didn’t increase, visitors spent significantly more time on the site. Learn more about this project from INN and NiemanLabs.
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.