In preparation for a county commissioners meeting on Miami’s transit issues, The New Tropic asked its readers to share solution ideas using the Twitter hashtag #solveMIAtransit. The New Tropic then curated those tweets in a Storify gallery on its site, allowing visitors to see what other people were saying and to join the conversation on Twitter. It also hosted a happy-hour event to discuss transit issues, published opinion pieces by community members, and used the #solveMIAtransit hashtag to point readers to related conversations and additional information.
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. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting created the Bridging Divides project, which brought “Fractured Lands” reporter Scott Anderson to K-12 schools and colleges across the country. They built a series of lessons on their online Lesson Builder for teachers to use in the classroom, which has received over 14,000 page views. Chicago students produced children’s books based on the characters in Scott’s reporting — and presented the work to elementary-school students.
This summary is from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connectors Studio. Texas-based community newspaper Rains County Leader recently launched a new web platform called followtheleader.today. The platform is a blog-forum hybrid that allows readers to comment and interact with stories published by Rains County Leader staff as well as interact with one another. The objective behind the new platform is to allow the newspaper to stay in direct communication with the community it serves.
Launched in 2015 by StoryCorps, the Great Thanksgiving Listen project focuses on empowering high school students to create and preserve a contemporary oral history of the United States. Participating high school students are tasked with recording an interview with an elder family member or friend over Thanksgiving about their life experiences in the United States using the StoryCorps mobile app. Recorded stories can then be submitted to StoryCorps, where they will be published on the StoryCorps website and entered into the Library of Congress records.
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.
For over ten years, Kentucky-based Mountain Community Radio (WMMT) has been producing the weekly radio program Calls from Home, which sends messages and call-outs to prison inmates in Central Appalachia. WMMT records the messages (often from friends and family members), and then broadcasts them on air for prisoners listening in. Calls from Home has been featured by WNYC, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, The American Prospect, Here & Now, and others.
Launched by The New Tropic in collaboration with WLRN and The Miami Foundation, the Hurricane Irma Map is a crowd-sourced mapping tool that allows users to search for and add information about resources and impacts in their area. Before Hurricane Irma, the content primarily focused on storm preparation resources. During and after the hurricane, the tool refocused on reports of storm damage and environmental hazards, as well as where to find or participate in relief operations. Learn more in “The New Tropic teamed up with an NPR station to help Florida residents find shelter from Hurricane Irma (and survey the damage after)“ by Ren LaForme (Poynter; September 7, 2017).
“Democracy Dies in Dankness.” That’s the tagline of the Washington Post‘s official Reddit profile. The tagline mirrors the Post’s informal, even irreverant, approach on Reddit. Managed by social media editor and long-time Reddit user Gene Park, the Post’s Reddit profile participates on the platform just like any other Reddit user, engaging in humorous banter, posting memes, and playing it straight with other users. This approach has helped the Post build meaningful relationships with Reddit users, who have jumped at opportunities to ask questions during Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with reporters and learn about the Post’s reporting process.
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).
Using funding from a successful 2018 Kickstarter campaign and support from block-chain journalism initiative Civil, the Colorado Sun is an ad-free new project. The model attempts to decentralize ownership of the newsroom in order to avoid a repeat of the recent hedge fund-mandate layoffs at the competing Denver Sun—layoffs that provided the staffing and ideological genesis for the Colorado Sun, as career journalists who had lost their jobs sought out new employment and a better, more sustainable way of reporting the news. More here, here and here.
The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR) developed what is now known as the “AZ Dark Money Bot,” or @AZDarkMoneyBot, a Twitter bot that enables the automation of “dark money” expenditure reporting. The Bot’s tweets include names of the groups, candidates receiving dark money, and campaign spending.