Hearken is a consulting and technology company that “help organizations create relevant services and build resilient networks through community engagement.” Hearken began as a public Q&A technology platform and now focuses on processes of change that are enabled by their tech offerings.
At the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, we believe that journalism sustainability is rooted in building stronger relationships between communities and newsrooms. While the distinction between “building with” instead of “building for” feels at first like semantics, when we begin to use it as a lens to examine journalism as both a process and a product, we see numerous ways it challenges the status quo.
We often hear questions like this one: how can our station reach new audiences? One way to start is with community listening sessions. In a recent webinar, we heard from two stations that have sessions to build relationships in communities that are underserved by the media. KCUR community engagement director Ron Jones shared how community listening sessions have helped form the reporting initiative Beyond Our Borders, a multi-platform look at how geographic borders affect the daily lives of people in Kansas City.
Abstract: Drawing on a structural theory of reciprocity, this essay introduces the idea of reciprocal journalism: a way of imagining how journalists might develop more mutually beneficial relationships with audiences across three forms of exchange—direct, indirect, and sustained types of reciprocity. We introduce this concept in the context of community journalism but also discuss its relevance for journalism broadly.