Community Media Training

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.)

Vermont Election Guide

Drawn from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. During the 2016 election cycle, VTDigger hosted a candidate roster that featured contact information, issues platforms, and campaign finance data for both the primary and general election races. This information was supplied by candidates (in response to a survey from VTDigger) and campaign finance reports filed with the Vermont Secretary of State. Check out their 2016 project announcement, Candidate Comparison tool, Legislative Candidate Guide, and Statewide Candidate Guide.

How Italy’s Cittadini Reattivi Civic Journalism Project is Helping Local Communities

Cittadini Reattivi is an online Italian crowd-sourced civic journalism project focused on health, the environment, and judicial issues. The project serves those who live in areas affected by pollution. Since founder and editor Rosy Battaglia launched the project in 2013, she has been able to gather user-generated story ideas, some of which led to new journalistic investigations.

How CALmatters Used Open Reporting to Collaborate With Community Members on Education Reporting

In early 2017, CALmatters education reporter Jessica Calefati grew frustrated while researching a piece about California school funding, after two Los Angeles area schools refused to comply with her records request. Calefati used “open reporting,” a method that gives readers insight to a reporter’s or media outlet’s newsgathering process, to enhance her main story. 

What ‘Engagement Reporting’ Is and Why It Matters

What if readers, not just sources, were an active part of the news reporting process? A new group of journalists is exploring that possibility in an effort to deepen their reporting and build community relationships. ‘Engagement reporters’ are journalists who combine the power of community engagement with traditional news reporting to do journalism that aims to authentically serve the community and reflect their interests and needs. They’re not audience engagement editors and they’re not news reporters — they live in both worlds.

How the Austin Monitor Used ‘Game Nights’ to Make Municipal Policy More Engaging

The Austin Monitor, an innovative nonprofit newsroom that covers municipal matters in detail, sought ways to engage readers on the most mundane issues. It has found success by hosting Budget Game Nights that challenge citizens to come up with their own solutions for the city’s budget, an interactive approach that the Monitor and its project partner, Glasshouse Policy.