2020 Edelman Trust Barometer

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call for our institutions to embrace a new way of effectively building trust: balancing competence with ethical behavior.

Why the Civic Info Consortium is Such a Huge Deal

Date: 01/16/2020

In 2018, New Jersey created the Civic Information Consortium, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit with the mission of strengthening local-news coverage and boosting civic engagement in communities across the state. Free Press Action conceived of the Civic Info Bill, which created the consortium and is now serving as a model for other states that are seeking to give people the news and information they need.

Reporting With People, Not on Them: How The Bureau Local Took a Story Full Circle

When we started our Locked Out investigation into the lack of routes out of homelessness, the follow up to our Dying Homeless project, we knew this on paper. But what we did not necessarily understand was the disorienting reality for so many of living like this. The Bureau Local project is a young one, and we are still exploring how journalism in the UK could better serve communities. We want to understand how people who live through the issues at hand can help conceive and shape media narratives, rather than being fodder for them.

The Ethics of Engaged Journalism

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.

The View From Somewhere

#MeToo. #BlackLivesMatter. #NeverAgain. #WontBeErased. Though both the right- and left-wing media claim “objectivity” in their reporting of these and other contentious issues, the American public has become increasingly cynical about truth, fact, and reality. In The View from Somewhere, Lewis Raven Wallace dives deep into the history of “objectivity” in journalism and how its been used to gatekeep and silence marginalized writers as far back as Ida B. Wells. There’s also an accompanying podcast.

Collaborative Data Journalism Guide

Huge datasets that cover vital national issues are coming out of the federal government every day, and within them hide endless numbers of story leads for local journalists. With the proliferation of available data, it’s become common for newsrooms to have access to datasets that contain more story leads than they can meaningfully pursue themselves. Collaborative data journalism allows multiple newsrooms to find and tell those stories, increasing impactful stories told.

Redistributing Power in Communities Through Involved Journalism

With dwindling time and resources in newsrooms, does it make sense to invest in citizen-powered journalism and training? These programs might accomplish the mission of many newsrooms and improve democracy as a whole, but do they actually change communities? There are plenty of places to seek answers, because there is no shortage of programs that seek to train and “empower” people on behalf of  journalism. At least part of the answer lies in those existing programs and their successes and failures. I want to understand the ingredients of a successful strategy to shift power within communities through training and journalism contributions, and whether people who were involved stay involved or become more active citizens.

Start Earning Trust

Newsrooms need to tell a consistent, repetitive story about what motivates their work, the range of information and stories they offer, what sets them apart, who they are, how they operate and how people can reach them. Telling that story should be a constant drumbeat — part of the rhythm of our work as journalists. So, how do you get started? You can start by talking about your mission, discussing your ethics and asking for feedback.

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