This summary is from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Voice of OC wanted to explore different forms of monetization while ensuring that interested communities have a real stake in the newsroom by giving them direct access to a vibrant op-ed page, listing more press releases, and instituting a civic calendar. Its main measure of success, online fundraising, soared by more than 117 percent last year. Voice of OC published more than 200 op-eds last year, and implemented a training program to encourage community members to write op-eds. (Here’s an example training.)
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. During the 2016 election cycle, VTDigger hosted a candidate roster that featured contact information, issues platforms, and campaign finance data for both the primary and general election races. This information was supplied by candidates (in response to a survey from VTDigger) and campaign finance reports filed with the Vermont Secretary of State. Check out their 2016 project announcement, Candidate Comparison tool, Legislative Candidate Guide, and Statewide Candidate Guide.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Framed by WDET is an audio-visual series that pairs storytelling and photography together to tell the stories of ethnic and cultural communities throughout the Detroit metro area. WDET forms teams consisting of local photographers and award-winning storytellers to document these stories, and then shares the results in a series of audio-visual installations that migrate throughout southeast Michigan.
For over ten years, Kentucky-based Mountain Community Radio (WMMT) has been producing the weekly radio program Calls from Home, which sends messages and call-outs to prison inmates in Central Appalachia. WMMT records the messages (often from friends and family members), and then broadcasts them on air for prisoners listening in. Calls from Home has been featured by WNYC, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, The American Prospect, Here & Now, and others.
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).
“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.
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.
In 2016, the University of Minnesota Duluth launched One River, Many Stories, a collaborative storytelling project focused on the St. Louis River region. The project collected stories from a variety of sources and topics ranged greatly, from Native American heritage to land rights and water usage. The project collected 47 different stories from 20 different contributors from around the region. Stories collected by the project were published and marked on an interactive map of the region, as well as being shared and promoted across social media. Read more in their final report (PDF).
The summary below was provided by Ode founder and Siouxland Public Media Arts Producer Ally Karsyn. Siouxland Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, produces Ode, a curated live storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy. The storytelling series offers a multi-platform output—on air, online and in person. Through these channels, Ode has strengthened existing community partnerships and established new ones—all while generating a new revenue stream and attracting a new, younger audience to engage with public radio.
Using funding from a successful 2018 Kickstarter campaign and support from block-chain journalism initiative Civil, the Colorado Sun is an ad-free new project. The model attempts to decentralize ownership of the newsroom in order to avoid a repeat of the recent hedge fund-mandate layoffs at the competing Denver Sun—layoffs that provided the staffing and ideological genesis for the Colorado Sun, as career journalists who had lost their jobs sought out new employment and a better, more sustainable way of reporting the news. More here, here and here.
With entries going as far back as 2006, “How I Work” is one of the longest-running columns on the Gizmodo Media (née Gawker Media) online publication Lifehacker. The premise of the column is simple: First, Lifehacker asks its readers to share whose workflows and processes they’re interested in learning about. Then, they reach out to the people suggested in those recommendations and profile them and their workflows on the site. (Here’s an example.) The objective of the column is to give readers insights into the successful work habits of others in the hopes of spreading inspiration and best practices.
Conexión Migrante is a “service news” media startup that “publishes stories based on specific inquiries sent by migrants in the U.S. or their families in Mexico, via Facebook or the organization’s hotline.” (Quoted from The Christian Science Monitor, 5/28/19 – https://bit.ly/309QvTV)