The opportunity now is to shepherd and accelerate a transition to an emergent civic media system. This new ecosystem looks different from what it will replace: while the commercial market rewarded information monopolies, what is emerging now are pluralistic networks in which information is fluid, services are shared, and media is made in cooperation with the people it seeks to serve.
We in engaged journalism have much to learn from other communities of practice. Fiona Morgan, July’s Gather Guest Curator, produced and hosted this conversation with fellow members of our civic infrastructure.
KMUW-FM launched Engage ICT: Democracy on Tap to provide reliable information on community issues and resources for taking action and learning more.
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.
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.
What’s possible when the public and journalists engage to support communities to thrive? Engagement is about authentic connections, valuing people, and mutual exchanges so that what’s best for individuals and the community as a whole emerges. With both journalists and other community members present at Experience Engagement, some conversations also pointed towards a communications ecosystem that supports the civic health of communities. Beyond journalism, as we know it, this civic communications ecosystem would provide robust information, feedback, inclusive dialogue, strategy and action for serving community goals. Read more of this from co-author Peggy Holman.