What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious? As politicians have become more polarized, we have increasingly allowed ourselves to be used by demagogues on both sides of the aisle, amplifying their insults instead of exposing their motivations. But what else can we do with conflict, besides letting it sit? We’re not advocates, and we shouldn’t be in the business of making people feel better. Our mission is not a diplomatic one. So what options does that leave?
What Vulnerable Communities Stand to Gain — or Lose — from Sharing Their Stories with Reporters, and What Reporters are Doing About It. With this guide, I aim to help journalists navigate the ethical dilemmas they encounter as they interview people who have experienced harm. While there are numerous practical guides on such interviewing, especially on trauma journalism, I have yet to find a guide that explores the deeper ethical questions of what conditions, if any, make such journalism morally justifiable and not purely extractive or voyeuristic. Here’s the backstory from NiemanLab.
The Listening Post Collective provides journalists, newsroom leaders, and non-profits tools and advice to create meaningful conversations with their communities. Whether you are a journalist, media outlet or civil society group, these steps will get you into a flow of listening to your community, creating stories that resonate, and fostering an ongoing conversation with people. Learn more about the Listening Post Collective from Poynter, MediaShift, and journalism.co.uk.
This playbook by jesikah maria ross is a guide to participatory journalism. The playbook is intended to help you select and develop stories in conversation with the communities most affected by a certain issue; design a reporting process that generates understanding, connection, and trust; and strengthen existing networks and forge new alliances that build community resilience beyond reporting.
City Bureau focuses on engagement journalism being for the people and by the people, and they’ve created guidelines with the intent of fusing traditional journalism with engagement journalism. The resource explores what community engagement is, and where it’s leading the future of journalism.
What’s possible when the public and journalists engage to support communities to thrive? Engagement is about authentic connections, valuing people, and mutual exchanges so that what’s best for individuals and the community as a whole emerges. With both journalists and other community members present at Experience Engagement, some conversations also pointed towards a communications ecosystem that supports the civic health of communities. Beyond journalism, as we know it, this civic communications ecosystem would provide robust information, feedback, inclusive dialogue, strategy and action for serving community goals. Read more of this from co-author Peggy Holman.
Many will remember—some with a touch of heat—the 1990’s movement known as civic (or public) journalism, which called for a rethinking of newsrooms’ relationships with their communities. Is today’s engaged journalism a new chapter of that movement? As someone who edited a newspaper during those earlier years, and who is now working as a senior fellow and consultant with the Democracy Fund, I’d say the short answer is yes – but: Engaged journalism is a much-evolved descendant, born into a radically changed landscape.
We’ve been thinking a great deal about participation design and examples of successful practices for community members to be involved in news reporting, production, and site growth. We’ve been interrogating what modern member participation looks like and who’s doing it well. We detail 25 ways that you can invite members to create journalism with you, using examples of live and recent experiments.
Journalism has little purpose if it is not trusted by the public it is meant to serve, so public engagement and public trust are inseparable in the networked world of digital journalism. Engaged journalists are starting to ask, “How can we help people trust each other?” In addition to representing the public interest, engaged journalism involves the public as true partners, enabling journalism to become complete, more accurate, more trusted, and more meaningful.
Based on the post, Engagement is Relational, not Transactional, this continuum visualizes the continuous loop between journalists and communities when the public is at the center of our journalism. “The question we often forget to ask ourselves is: How can we motivate more journalists (and journalism students) to put the community at the center of their work, be better listeners, and understand more precisely the needs of the public? Until we can think of the public not just as “audiences” and “consumers,” but also as experts and partners in the communities we aim to serve, we shouldn’t expect to receive the public’s complete trust.”