Contemporary journalism faces a crisis of trust that threatens the institution and may imperil democracy itself. Critics and experts see a renewed commitment to local journalism as one solution. But a lasting restoration of public trust requires a different kind of local journalism than is often imagined, one that engages with and shares power among all sectors of a community.
While trust in media is low, communities always find ways to share news and information—here’s what we learned from our latest listening project. Since 2016, City Bureau’s Public Newsroom has brought people together to discuss, debate and deconstruct how news and information is created and shared in our communities on Chicago’s South and West Sides.
The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call for our institutions to embrace a new way of effectively building trust: balancing competence with ethical behavior.
What Vulnerable Communities Stand to Gain — or Lose — from Sharing Their Stories with Reporters, and What Reporters are Doing About It. With this guide, I aim to help journalists navigate the ethical dilemmas they encounter as they interview people who have experienced harm. While there are numerous practical guides on such interviewing, especially on trauma journalism, I have yet to find a guide that explores the deeper ethical questions of what conditions, if any, make such journalism morally justifiable and not purely extractive or voyeuristic. Here’s the backstory from NiemanLab.
Newsrooms need to tell a consistent, repetitive story about what motivates their work, the range of information and stories they offer, what sets them apart, who they are, how they operate and how people can reach them. Telling that story should be a constant drumbeat — part of the rhythm of our work as journalists. So, how do you get started? You can start by talking about your mission, discussing your ethics and asking for feedback.
What are the barriers? Why is it so dang hard to just “do engagement already?” We had our hunches, but we commissioned a study to really find out. We spoke with 100 people who are already bought in — who desperately want to spend their time doing better engagement — to learn what (and who) stands in their way. Engagement is a process, not a product. The solution must start with mindset and culture change, not software
How can journalists stand out in a minefield of misinformation? See what 14 newsrooms learned when they used their social platforms to experiment with trust-building strategies. We’ll show you what they tried, what worked for different kinds of newsrooms and what totally fell flat.
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.
Spaceship Media and other outlets are experimenting with ways to bridge the political divides in the U.S. Other efforts include a new StoryCorps feature with intimate conversations between political opposites and a Reddit page at The Seattle Times that ran with a series on race called “Under Our Skin.” Facebook, where Russia-financed vitriol helped to inflame hatred before the 2016 election, hosts issue pages moderated by journalists on topics such as health care, and hyperlocal discussion groups about schools and town elections run by citizen volunteers.
NewsU: As a mediator among those who create, distribute and consume the news, the Newseum wants to help each group better understand the others. In this session, the Newseum’s Kristi Kenneth focuses on revealing what the organization has learned about the current media landscape through workshops with news consumers young and old world-wide. What issues cause the most confusion? Where does the public lay blame for problems like “fake” news? What skills do students and the general public need to develop, and what can journalists do to help bolster those skills?
In a world of “alternative facts” and “post-truth” politics, producing public-interest journalism is more important than ever—but also more complex. This book examines how journalism is evolving to meet the demands of the digital media ecosystem, where lies often spread faster than truth, and where modern news consumers increasingly expect journalism to be a conversation, not a lecture.
We know trust in journalism is low. So what are we doing about that (beyond hoping it changes)? Learn how to use social platforms to tell the story of your journalism and why it’s credible. Don’t just share links to published stories. Build relationships with your users by sharing your process, introducing your staff and telling the story of your brand. Persuade people that you’re worth following. Invite them to connect with you. Give them a sense of who you are and invite them to make an emotional connection.