German investigative journalism non-profit Correctiv conducted a crowd-sourced investigation into the cancellation of classes in Dortmund schools called Unterrichtsausfall (roughly “Class Failure” or “Teaching Failure”). Journalists asked community members involved in the education system to report on class cancellations via an online platform called the Cloud Newsroom. Read the project announcement and project retrospective in German for more.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Listening Post Macon facilitated a weekly conversation on local issues through text messages that delivered a mix of news and questions designed to engage residents. Multiple stories came directly from community tips, including a story about a mother teaching her children to use guns because her child was shot and killed walking to the gas station. Learn more.
In 2017, the Honolulu Civil Beat launched “Office Hours” on Facebook Live, where journalists held real-time conversations on local and international news with livestream participants. These sessions drew 2,000-4,000 views on average, with some drawing as many as 24,000 views. Civil Beat’s best sessions happened when they left their office and responded to questions and comments from their viewers. Watch past sessions or read more.
Off the Bus was a citizen journalism reporting project covering the 2008 and 2012 elections (a collaboration between the Huffington Post and NewAssignment at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute). The project connected over 12,000 citizen journalists with Huffington Post staffers to cover the election in ways traditional media couldn’t. Professional journalists acted as guides, and citizen journalists were given the tools to publish content they created.
Jersey Shore Hurricane News began in 2011 as a Facebook community page dedicated to sharing news about Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. JSHN joined the Listening Post Collective and launched several engagement projects to deepen its connection with the community, such as setting up audio listening and comment recording booths and hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with a mayor.
In June 2014, 243 refugees fled Libya on a boat bound for Italy. The boat never arrived. In 2015, Medium launched the Ghost Boat project, a crowdsourced “hackathon” effort to find out what happened. The cornerstone of the Ghost Boat project is a website where investigative journalist Eric Reidy posts in-depth articles documenting the search. Interested contributors are given guides and a repository of information gathered so far. The investigation was suspended in December 2016 pending additional leads. Learn more.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting held a series of community journalism hackathons focused on campaign contributions for four state ballot items. 65 people came to first hackathon, where they tested an app that allowed them to scour campaign contributions. The study of state contributions data revealed newsworthy nuggets, producing a series of stories for the NECIR’s The Eye and WGBH.
In preparation for a county commissioners meeting on Miami’s transit issues, The New Tropic asked its readers to share solution ideas using the Twitter hashtag #solveMIAtransit. The New Tropic then curated those tweets in a Storify gallery on its site, allowing visitors to see what other people were saying and to join the conversation on Twitter. It also hosted a happy-hour event to discuss transit issues, published opinion pieces by community members, and used the #solveMIAtransit hashtag to point readers to related conversations and additional information.
This summary is from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connectors Studio. Texas-based community newspaper Rains County Leader recently launched a new web platform called followtheleader.today. The platform is a blog-forum hybrid that allows readers to comment and interact with stories published by Rains County Leader staff as well as interact with one another. The objective behind the new platform is to allow the newspaper to stay in direct communication with the community it serves.
This summary is from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Voice of OC wanted to explore different forms of monetization while ensuring that interested communities have a real stake in the newsroom by giving them direct access to a vibrant op-ed page, listing more press releases, and instituting a civic calendar. Its main measure of success, online fundraising, soared by more than 117 percent last year. Voice of OC published more than 200 op-eds last year, and implemented a training program to encourage community members to write op-eds. (Here’s an example training.)
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Framed by WDET is an audio-visual series that pairs storytelling and photography together to tell the stories of ethnic and cultural communities throughout the Detroit metro area. WDET forms teams consisting of local photographers and award-winning storytellers to document these stories, and then shares the results in a series of audio-visual installations that migrate throughout southeast Michigan.
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.