The Colorado Sun

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.

How City Bureau Recruited Volunteer Coders to Collaboratively Build Engagement Tools

In 2016, Chicago-based civic journalism lab City Bureau started its Documenters program, which pays and equips community members to document public meetings and civic events in the city. As the program grew, they teamed up with ProPublica Illinois and volunteer coders to “scrape” the web for public meeting listings and populate an events calendar usable by journalists and citizens alike.

Public Media and Marginalized Publics

Curious City, a series produced by WBEZ Chicago Public Media, invites listeners to participate in the reporting process. Using the Hearken digital engagement platform, listeners ask and then vote on questions that are turned into radio stories. Over a year, Curious City attempted to engage residents of Chicago areas that traditionally had few public radio listeners, mostly stigmatized African-American and Latinx neighborhoods, to participate via face-to-face outreach, outreach via community partners, or social media marketing. Using a communication infrastructure theory framework, this study draws from observations and 25 interviews with journalists, participating audience members, residents of targeted outreach areas, and partner organizations to examine best practices to combine digital and offline strategies, and the importance of pre- and post-broadcast engagement.

Engaging Buttons Plugin

The Engaging Buttons Plugin is a WordPress plugin that allows WordPress admins to add a variety of reaction buttons to their content, from the traditional “Like” to options like “Respect” and more. This plugin was developed because researchers at the Engaging News Project found that people were far more likely to interact with content, particularly important but not positive content, if they had more options available to them than just “Liking” something.

Diversity Toolbox

The Rainbow Sourcebook and Diversity Toolbox is a database searchable by common news topics that feature qualified experts from demographic groups underrepresented in the news. The toolbox also offers essays and links to resources that can help broaden the perspectives and voices in journalistic organizations and projects.