City Limits, an investigative hyperlocal news source in NYC, created the Art at the Limits series, which actively engaged readers by encouraging them to submit their own stories and artwork highlighting their city experiences. In addition to collecting readers’ art and stories and featuring them on social media, City Limits also created a map of outer borough art galleries where readers could submit their favorite hidden gems.
ZoneIn is a City Limits initiative designed to cover the de Blasio City Limits, an investigative hyperlocal news source in NYC, created the public information and civic engagement project ZoneIn in YEAR to cover the de Blasio administration’s proposed re-zoning plan. ZoneIn has since grown into the special project Mapping the Future.
CivicStory partnered with Summit Greenfaith Circle, an organization that includes six local houses of worship, to convene Summit’s Sustainable Future, a public event to help launch the “public input” phase of the City of Summit’s 10-year Master Plan re-examination. 60 people attended the event, which included a Q&A and lively post-event discussions; a video of the event aired over a several-week period. Learn more from the city’s 10-year master plan and a public forum.
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.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. IowaWatch’s 2016 College Media project, Making Boundaries, brought together 14 students to investigate efforts to limit speech on Iowa college campuses. The event was livestreamed on the bookstore’s weekly program, featured in a report on Iowa Watch’s 20-station network, and written up in related news stories at other Iowa news outlets.
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.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The Lens holds regular morning coffee chats at its office and happy hours at local bars. There’s no formal programming; rather, engaged readers and members freely discuss what The Lens is and isn’t covering with reporters. These face-to-face discussions have built trust and provided The Lens with some of its best news tips.
Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism held a “Right to Know” event in March 2017 to educate the public on what rights they have to public records. The event connected right-to-know advocates and attorneys with citizens and reporters who were eager to know more about the government or had experienced frustration obtaining public records. The event featured one-on-one sessions, a detailed slide show, and a public forum for Q&A. More here, here, and here.
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.