Innovation in Public Funding for Local Journalism: A Case Study of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Bill

This article explores an effort to direct state-level public funds toward journalism by using a national policy window combined with an intensive grass-roots effort. We use the lens of Kingdon’s policy process model to showcase dynamics that contribute to the media policymaking literature. The process and enactment of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Consortium bill are analyzed using a combination of archival research and oral history, highlighting the efforts of policy entrepreneurs and knowledge-brokers, who served as key advocates for the bill’s passage.

Collaborative Data Journalism Guide

Huge datasets that cover vital national issues are coming out of the federal government every day, and within them hide endless numbers of story leads for local journalists. With the proliferation of available data, it’s become common for newsrooms to have access to datasets that contain more story leads than they can meaningfully pursue themselves. Collaborative data journalism allows multiple newsrooms to find and tell those stories, increasing impactful stories told.

What Does “Local” Mean?

How do local communities define themselves? How do news outlets define their audiences? And how do journalists know what’s important to their audiences and what niche they can fill? A recent report is a useful jumping off point for discussion of those questions. Join Amy Schmitz Weiss of San Diego State University, Jesse Hardman of the Listening Post Collective, and Madeleine Bair of El Timpano to continue the conversation. 

Civic Media Practice

In a context of increasing distrust in institutions, including government, media and news, there is need to understand how civic innovators are using media and technology to counter these trends. Based on over 40 interviews with practitioners, this report identifies “civic media practice” as media and technology used to facilitate democratic process. It focuses specifically on those practitioners using media tools to form relationships and build trust – a practice that sometimes runs counter to the apparent needs of organizations to enhance efficiency through technology. This report identifies civic media practice as a direct response to the crisis of distrust and describes the negotiation of values that takes place as media is designed and deployed in organizations.

Towards a Useful Typology of Engaged Journalism

What does engaged journalism mean to journalists? What are the common practices that can be thought of as engaged journalism? What is engaged journalism? We — the News Integrity Initiative and Impact Architects — attempted to surface some answers with a survey administered among journalists in August and September 2018. The survey results, when taken together with results from a survey conducted by Hearken and research done by EJC, provide insights into the what, the why, the who, and the how of engaged journalism.

News Voices: Don’t Just Engage. Organize!

News Voices takes an organizing approach to support quality local news by working directly with communities. When we say organizing, we don’t mean “activism.” Organizing is fundamentally about listening to people tell you what they need and what kind of world they want and working collaboratively to make it happen. This guide will help newsrooms use organizing principles and values to build deep relationships to enhance community trust.

Gather Final Report – Knight Foundation

This comprehensive report, prepared on behalf of the Knight Foundation as a condition of continued funding, details how Gather started, how it currently operates, and how it anticipates operating in the future through the lens of the developmental evaluation process. Though intended as an internal document, Gather is making this report public in the hopes that other organizations can learn from the challenges and successes faced by Gather to date, as well as part of its continuing commitment to a transparent development process.

Using Conversation to Build Collaboration Between Newsrooms and Communities

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).

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.