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.
We chatted about tools, strategies and workflows that help us make sense of data and share its implications with our organizations. Join the discussion with Elizabeth Wolfe of Chicago Tribune, Erica Smith of Virginian Pilot., and Joy Mayer of Gather.
A lot of us do most of our engagement work online. Is there room within digital spaces for building empathy and hosting meaningful interactions? Join the discussion with Eve Pearlman of Spaceship Media, Jeremy Hay of Spaceship Media, Halle Stockton of Public Source, and Nancy White of Full Circle.
Jennifer Brandel wanted to know: what would happen if the public was brought in to the editorial process? As an independent producer and reporter at WBEZ in Chicago, the question had weighed on her, and in 2012 she founded Curious City through an initiative with the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR).
We chatted about engagement tools. Poynter’s Ren LaForme hosted.
Sarah Alvarez launched Outlier Media in 2017 to serve the needs of low-income news consumers in Detroit. Using SMS and Facebook messenger, Detroit residents can input any address in the city and receive free rental information about the home, including its most recent inspection data, any back taxes owed, and the name of the owner.
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.