As a news organization, when should you consider creating a Facebook group, and what could the focus of the group be? Once you have one, how do you recruit and admit members? How (and how much) should you moderate conversation? And how will you measure the success of your efforts? Join Lauren Katz of Vox, Penny Riordan of GateHouse Media, and Hannah Wise of Dallas Morning News to find out.
In 2016, after Donald Trump proposed a ban that would prevent Muslims from entering the U.S., KUOW radio station Executive Producer of Community Engagement, Ross Reynolds, wondered how he could provide people with the opportunity to learn about communities they may know nothing about. The answer he reached was the “Ask A…” project, a series of in-person events.
In 2015 the business website 24/7 Wall St. released a report that ranked Peoria, Illinois, as one of the 10 worst cities to live in for African Americans in the United States. Following the report, the Journal Star newsroom of Peoria launched City of Disparity, a year-long reporting project that examined the city’s disparities.
In order to take a different route in covering climate change and agriculture, MPR News, the news service of Minnesota Public Radio, launched Feeding the Future, an engagement journalism project set on informing its audience members and identifying solutions to a rapidly changing climate.
Justin Auciello collaborated with Internews to produce an information ecosystem assessment for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. This paved the way for Information as Aid, a Facebook group dedicated to disseminating crucial news, aid requests, and lost/found people reports. Learn more about the Recovery in post-Maria Puerto Rico. (Collaboration: Internews/NetHope/Auciello).
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.
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.
The Yarn Exchange Radio Program shares stories that cultivate a more cohesive community by drawing from its multigenerational and multicultural landscape. The ensemble cast, composed of community members, performs a monthly radio show on themes chosen by the cast.
Headed by Tri-State Public Media (WNIN) producer Paola Marizán, the bilingual podcast ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? was established with the hopes of telling the stories of Latino community members living in the Midwest. Audience members are able to contribute to the podcast’s production by suggesting their story ideas and guest-starring in podcast episodes.
University of Oregon’s Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) launched their Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) in La Pine, Oregon and partnered with other departments across campus including the SOJC’s engaged journalism class. They developed an engagement strategy to support the information health of La Pine.
NBC Left Field is a short documentary unit established by NBC News in 2017. The project team set out to create a number of new series geared towards social media platforms and bridge the gap between audiences and journalists. One of these series, Tag, strives to engage with its viewers and create loyal followers by crowdsourcing their video topics.