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.

Preventing Suicide, One Conversation At a Time

This project started with a small seed of an idea, planted by CapRadio Managing Editor Linnea Edmeier, who has lived in Sutter Creek for most of her life. She had noticed people dying by suicide often, but had never heard anyone discuss it at length. She proposed a project to find out if people who live in Amador County are at heightened risk for suicide, and whether leaders there were do anything to solve it.

Welcome to Bridgetown: Bridging the Gaps Between the Worlds of Professional and Citizen Journalism

This study examines the opportunities and threats to the discursive values of professional journalism inherent in collaborating with citizen journalists, as well as areas of overlap in the values and practice of professional and citizen journalists. This study reveals that, while there is minimal overlap in discursive values between professional and citizen journalism, there are several areas of overlap between the two traditions in theory and practice. This study indicates strong public interest in participating in the journalistic process.

News Voices: Don’t Just Engage. Organize!

News Voices takes an organizing approach to support quality local news by working directly with communities. When we say organizing, we don’t mean “activism.” Organizing is fundamentally about listening to people tell you what they need and what kind of world they want and working collaboratively to make it happen. This guide will help newsrooms use organizing principles and values to build deep relationships to enhance community trust.

Gather Final Report – Knight Foundation

This comprehensive report, prepared on behalf of the Knight Foundation as a condition of continued funding, details how Gather started, how it currently operates, and how it anticipates operating in the future through the lens of the developmental evaluation process. Though intended as an internal document, Gather is making this report public in the hopes that other organizations can learn from the challenges and successes faced by Gather to date, as well as part of its continuing commitment to a transparent development process.

Hooked on Junk News: Breaking Bad Habits and Rebuilding Trust in the Media

NewsU: As a mediator among those who create, distribute and consume the news, the Newseum wants to help each group better understand the others. In this session, the Newseum’s Kristi Kenneth focuses on revealing what the organization has learned about the current media landscape through workshops with news consumers young and old world-wide. What issues cause the most confusion? Where does the public lay blame for problems like “fake” news? What skills do students and the general public need to develop, and what can journalists do to help bolster those skills?

Using Conversation to Build Collaboration Between Newsrooms and Communities

The Jefferson Center launched Your Voice Ohio in 2017, the second phase of an ongoing collaborative effort to help Ohio newsrooms better understand and respond to the needs of their communities. We’re looking at a variety of methods of engagement — both in-person and online — to find the most effective and sustainable approaches for local newsrooms. Here’s what we’ve learned so far (as of 2018).

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