Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Along with Albuquerque’s NPR and PBS stations, New Mexico In Depth is part of People, Power & Democracy, which was an annual multimedia collaboration covering New Mexico’s state government that held annual public community engagement events. The 2017 event attracted a diverse group of approximately 40 people who discussed current government problems, ways to improve them, and suggestions for future reporting. The event was also live-streamed. More here, here, and here.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. NJ Spotlight On Cities is an annual conference that brings together people who believe in vibrant urban centers. In 2016, NJ Spotlight also incorporated crowd-sourcing into planning the event schedule, and questions and issues brought up during an open session of the event informed a Q & A with gubernatorial hopefuls later that day. More than 250 people participated. More here and here.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Oklahoma Watch hosts an annual public forum series called “Oklahoma Watch-Out.” The series includes moderated discussions with newsmakers and prominent elected officials on topics such as public health, education, and criminal justice. Events typically attract 60-80 people, and videos of the discussions are posted on oklahomawatch.org. Public radio and TV stations also feature the events as part of their regular programming. More here, here, and here.
In 2014, ProPublica launched its Six Words youth engagement project in partnership with The Race Card Project. This project responded to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ending “separate but equal” legislation, and focused on two Alabama high schools—one integrated, one all-black. ProPublica reporters invited students from each school to meet and share their experiences around the re-segregation happening in their communities and photograph their experiences in school.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. San Francisco Public Press launched Public Press Live to present and host discussions with 40 community groups to raise its profile, build trust with the community, and expand membership. Topics for presentations were developed in concert with leaders of local groups and ranged from sea level rise in the Bay Area to the role of local media organizations in the fake news era. Public Press reporters are currently working on a series of stories inspired by a story tips generated at recent Public Press Live events. More here, here, and here.
Fresno Bee education reporter and Center for Health Journalism fellow Mackenzie Mays spent nine months producing a series entitled Too Young? The series covers teen pregnancy in Fresno, California, with a particular focus on how sex education is taught in the Fresno Unified School District. The series hasn’t been without incident. After she reported on a student’s story of facing discrimination from school administrators after becoming pregnant, she came under personal and professional attack from a high level school administrator, both on social media and in through interviews of the administrator conducted by other local media.
Community in Unity, created by Alaska Public Media, invites residents of Alaska to sit down and participate in face-to-face discussions in order to tackle relevant community issues. Recorded for radio broadcast, the group conversations have included topics ranging from homelessness to race and identity with the hopes of getting people who wouldn’t normally meet together.
Civil Beat’s Civil Café series convenes influencers and knowledge experts to debate and discuss important Hawaii issues in front of an active and engaged audience. Most discussions are moderated by a Civil Beat editor or reporter, and cover timely and topical issues complementary to Civil Beat reporting like climate change, legislative issues, and economic welfare.
The Seattle Times launched Under Our Skin, a multimedia project aimed at fostering meaningful and honest conversations about race in the region. The site features video interviews with 18 community members from diverse backgrounds reflecting on and talking about a set of terms commonly used in conversations and debates about race.
British Columbia-based Discourse Media sent reporter Trevor Jang on a listening road trip to Northern BC to report on the contentious Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline project. He facilitated online discussions through a Facebook group, as well as in-person meetings, in an attempt to prompt dialogue and better understand a complicated issue.
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).