Last year we embarked on a process to define what impact means for a people-centered, community news lab. As our young media start-up matures, remembering why we do this work is as important as building models for the future of local media. That’s why City Bureau’s first Impact Report begins with a story—a historical guiding star from our home on Chicago’s South Side—the story of the Pullman Porters.
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.
Abstract: This research examines the impact of One River, Many Stories, a community storytelling project designed to disrupt relationships between news organizations and their audiences. Community engagement methods were used to study this two-year storytelling project. Ripple Effects Mapping methods measured its impact. Findings reveal that traditional news media deviated little from established journalism routines while citizen participation was diverse and expansive.
What if readers, not just sources, were an active part of the news reporting process? A new group of journalists is exploring that possibility in an effort to deepen their reporting and build community relationships. ‘Engagement reporters’ are journalists who combine the power of community engagement with traditional news reporting to do journalism that aims to authentically serve the community and reflect their interests and needs. They’re not audience engagement editors and they’re not news reporters — they live in both worlds.
This report explores the potential impacts of local solutions journalism, particularly for underrepresented and stigmatized communities. Solutions journalism explores responses to systemic social problems—critically examining problem-solving efforts that have the potential to scale.
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.”
Looking for an alternative to face-to-face events in the time of Coronavirus? People have been experimenting with synchronous online convening for years and the tools continue to improve. Here are some suggestions based on experiences of the Journalism That Matters team.
Journalism + Design has developed a suite of systems thinking tools for journalists to focus their reporting on the underlying causes of complex problems: the policies, power dynamics, and beliefs fueling systems that actively harm, marginalize, or benefit specific people. By expanding our lens beyond individual events and outcomes, journalists can hold entire systems accountable, rather than just the symptoms they produce.
Newsletter expert Jacqueline Boltik, who helped develop projects such as Ann Friedman’s Weekly and the LA Times’ newsletters and journalism professor Daniela Gerson, who recently created Migratory Notes, break down what you need to know to make your newsletter take off. In this course, you’ll learn best practices to grow your newsletter, design basics, and how to report and measure the data from your email campaigns.
Imagined Audiences draws on ethnographic case studies of three news organizations to reveal how journalists’ assumptions about their audiences shape their approaches to their audiences. Jacob L. Nelson examines the role that audiences have traditionally played in journalism, how that role has changed, and what those changes mean for both the profession and the public.
We produced The View From Here: Place And Privilege, a 10-part podcast, hourlong radio documentary and online community voice platform. To carry the conversation deeper into the community, CapRadio collaborated with community partners to co-host a series of Story Circles.
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.