This step-by-step guide by Alicia Bell and Mike Rispoli can help newsrooms examine their own power and design engagement strategies that don’t perpetuate transactional or extractive relationships with the public. To foster a new future for journalism, it’s crucial for news outlets to share and build power with local communities. Check out the related Gather Lighting Chat and News Voices post.
Learn how to build reciprocal relationships with communities so your newsroom can truly serve local needs. Alicia Bell and Mike Rispoli will take you through their methodology, using grassroots organizing techniques to develop community leadership and share power.
Free Press is launching “Media 2070,” an in-depth research essay and organizing hub that documents and analyzes the history of media harm. Alicia Bell from Free Press talks about the origins and goals of the project, how they plan to engage their communities, and how you can stay in touch.
This article explores an effort to direct state-level public funds toward journalism by using a national policy window combined with an intensive grass-roots effort. We use the lens of Kingdon’s policy process model to showcase dynamics that contribute to the media policymaking literature. The process and enactment of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Consortium bill are analyzed using a combination of archival research and oral history, highlighting the efforts of policy entrepreneurs and knowledge-brokers, who served as key advocates for the bill’s passage.
Since Free Press’ News Voices project launched five years ago, they’ve focused on centering the needs and voices of community members in local news, and organizing to make media coverage more responsive to those it intends to serve. The resource list the ways News Voices hosted several community conversations in both English and Spanish, through digital spaces and conference calls.
Free Press’ News Voices team created a guide to help their community reach out to five folks and ask them a series of questions about what information they need to stay safe, healthy, and connected. The News Voices also relayed these findings to local journalists to help inform media coverage, raise questions to pose to decision-makers, and suggest how to frame stories in a way that will provide value to communities. More on FP’s response to COVID-19.
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.
This toolkit — based off of years of organizing in communities to reshape local news — provides tactics for building power toward transforming media where you live. Just as communities are organizing for equitable and just social policy, we can organize for equitable and just local news. To transform local news, we have to build local leadership.
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.
Free Press created a toolkit designed to show newsrooms how they go about doing the engagement they do at Free Press. It’s focused on face-to-face engagement. Fiona Morgan explored how to make it even better.