For over ten years, Kentucky-based Mountain Community Radio (WMMT) has been producing the weekly radio program Calls from Home, which sends messages and call-outs to prison inmates in Central Appalachia. WMMT records the messages (often from friends and family members), and then broadcasts them on air for prisoners listening in. Calls from Home has been featured by WNYC, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, The American Prospect, Here & Now, and others.
Launched by The New Tropic in collaboration with WLRN and The Miami Foundation, the Hurricane Irma Map is a crowd-sourced mapping tool that allows users to search for and add information about resources and impacts in their area. Before Hurricane Irma, the content primarily focused on storm preparation resources. During and after the hurricane, the tool refocused on reports of storm damage and environmental hazards, as well as where to find or participate in relief operations. Learn more in “The New Tropic teamed up with an NPR station to help Florida residents find shelter from Hurricane Irma (and survey the damage after)“ by Ren LaForme (Poynter; September 7, 2017).
In 2016, the University of Minnesota Duluth launched One River, Many Stories, a collaborative storytelling project focused on the St. Louis River region. The project collected stories from a variety of sources and topics ranged greatly, from Native American heritage to land rights and water usage. The project collected 47 different stories from 20 different contributors from around the region. Stories collected by the project were published and marked on an interactive map of the region, as well as being shared and promoted across social media. Read more in their final report (PDF).
The summary below was provided by Ode founder and Siouxland Public Media Arts Producer Ally Karsyn. Siouxland Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, produces Ode, a curated live storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy. The storytelling series offers a multi-platform output—on air, online and in person. Through these channels, Ode has strengthened existing community partnerships and established new ones—all while generating a new revenue stream and attracting a new, younger audience to engage with public radio.
Are you looking for outside funding for your engagement work? In this 30-minute video chat, we’ll talk to Molly de Aguiar of the News Integrity Initiative, Paul Waters of Democracy Fund, and Karen Rundlet of the Knight Foundation who represent organizations that offer funding to support journalism. What do they wish journalists knew about how to find funding?
Cittadini Reattivi is an online Italian crowd-sourced civic journalism project focused on health, the environment, and judicial issues. The project serves those who live in areas affected by pollution. Since founder and editor Rosy Battaglia launched the project in 2013, she has been able to gather user-generated story ideas, some of which led to new journalistic investigations.
In 2015, Free Press launched News Voices after recognizing that community members aren’t often included in the discussions around how communities get news or how journalists could better serve the communities they work in. The program started in New Jersey with World Cafe style listening forums where community members could share their concerns with journalists.
How can membership programs help news organizations build and reward loyalty? What can we do to celebrate and build relationships with our most committed users? Join Emily Goligoski of Membership Puzzle Project, Matthew Peterson of The Atlantic, Caroline Kitchener of The Atlantic, and Gracie McKenzie of The Atlantic to discuss it.
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).
In 2017, The Listening Post Collective, with support from an Omaha based foundation, conducted an Information Ecosystem Assessment in north Omaha, Nebraska. The resulting assessment maps the existing media and information ecosystem and offers examples and suggestions of steps that may improve access to information and news coverage of north Omaha.
The Wichita Eagle newspaper created a reading challenge through a closed Facebook group. Participants in the virtual book club can track their progress in the challenge, share book reviews, make recommendations, provide links to book-related stories and events. It’s managed by books columnist and education reporter, Suzanne Tobias.
Abstract: This research examines the impact of One River, Many Stories, a community storytelling project designed to disrupt relationships between news organizations and their audiences. Community engagement methods were used to study this two-year storytelling project. Ripple Effects Mapping methods measured its impact. Findings reveal that traditional news media deviated little from established journalism routines while citizen participation was diverse and expansive.