Complicating the Narratives

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?

Why Your Community Members Want to Aid Your Reporting & 25 Jobs You Can Ask Them to Do

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.

Mapping Information Ecosystems to Serve Local News Needs

A media desert is geographic area that is lacking access to fresh, local news and information. This condition may be a result of a lack of content, access, language barriers and other issues. This guide focuses on asset-based framework, digital ethnography, and geomapping tools to address ecosystems that are lacking news and information, and how to appropriately assess and fulfill local news needs.

The Journalism Industry Knows Engagement is Necessary to Survive

What are the barriers? Why is it so dang hard to just “do engagement already?” We had our hunches, but we commissioned a study to really find out. We spoke with 100 people who are already bought in — who desperately want to spend their time doing better engagement — to learn what (and who) stands in their way. Engagement is a process, not a product. The solution must start with mindset and culture change, not software

Engaged Journalism Has Measurable Benefits

How do we make the case for investing in engagement? “Engagement” is an evolving set of practices within journalism, and its impact on attracting, developing, and satisfying audiences has yet to be fully and rigorously documented, particularly by the scholarly community. One entity that is making a strong case for the commercial, as well as the journalistic value of doing engagement work, is Hearken, whose landing page features in bold letters: “Does Hearken Work? Yes.”

Civic Media Practice

In a context of increasing distrust in institutions, including government, media and news, there is need to understand how civic innovators are using media and technology to counter these trends. Based on over 40 interviews with practitioners, this report identifies “civic media practice” as media and technology used to facilitate democratic process. It focuses specifically on those practitioners using media tools to form relationships and build trust – a practice that sometimes runs counter to the apparent needs of organizations to enhance efficiency through technology. This report identifies civic media practice as a direct response to the crisis of distrust and describes the negotiation of values that takes place as media is designed and deployed in organizations.

Can Dialogue Journalism Engage Audiences, Foster Civil Discourse, and Increase Trust in the Media?

Spaceship Media and other outlets are experimenting with ways to bridge the political divides in the U.S. Other efforts include a new StoryCorps feature with intimate conversations between political opposites and a Reddit page at The Seattle Times that ran with a series on race called “Under Our Skin.” Facebook, where Russia-financed vitriol helped to inflame hatred before the 2016 election, hosts issue pages moderated by journalists on topics such as health care, and hyperlocal discussion groups about schools and town elections run by citizen volunteers.

Towards a Useful Typology of Engaged Journalism

What does engaged journalism mean to journalists? What are the common practices that can be thought of as engaged journalism? What is engaged journalism? We — the News Integrity Initiative and Impact Architects — attempted to surface some answers with a survey administered among journalists in August and September 2018. The survey results, when taken together with results from a survey conducted by Hearken and research done by EJC, provide insights into the what, the why, the who, and the how of engaged journalism.

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