The organization works in collaboration with its audience to engage in two-way reporting via text message. This model replaces things like Facebook groups, which can fuel the spread of misinformation and amplify political polarization within communities. El Tímpano provides its audiences with access to the information they need from a source that’s earned their trust.
The two finalists for the 2021 OJA/Gather Award in Engaged Journalism in the Micro/Small Newsrooms category, including El Tímpano and The Marshall Project, offer lessons learned from their community-engagement projects.
El Tímpano’s first impact report outlines how they expanded their work and organization to inform, engage, and amplify the voices of communities most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization filled a gap in Spanish-language news and information and provided a platform for more than a thousand Latino and Mayan immigrants to share, in real-time, their experience of the pandemic.
How do local communities define themselves? How do news outlets define their audiences? And how do journalists know what’s important to their audiences and what niche they can fill? A recent report is a useful jumping off point for discussion of those questions. Join Amy Schmitz Weiss of San Diego State University, Jesse Hardman of the Listening Post Collective, and Madeleine Bair of El Timpano to continue the conversation.