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.
Topic: User-Generated Content
Community Media Training
This summary is from a report by the Institute for Nonprofit News and Dot Connector Studio. Voice of OC wanted to explore different forms of monetization while ensuring that interested communities have a real stake in the newsroom by giving them direct access to a vibrant op-ed page, listing more press releases, and instituting a civic calendar. Its main measure of success, online fundraising, soared by more than 117 percent last year. Voice of OC published more than 200 op-eds last year, and implemented a training program to encourage community members to write op-eds. (Here’s an example training.)
Calls from Home
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.
Hurricane Irma Map
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).
One River, Many Stories
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).
The summary below was provided by Ode founder and Siouxland Public Media Arts Producer Ally Karsyn. Siouxland Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, produces Ode, a curated live storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy. The storytelling series offers a multi-platform output—on air, online and in person. Through these channels, Ode has strengthened existing community partnerships and established new ones—all while generating a new revenue stream and attracting a new, younger audience to engage with public radio.
How Alaska Public Media Uses Face-to-Face Public Conversations to Tackle Important Community Issues
Community in Unity, created by Alaska Public Media, invites residents of Alaska to sit down and participate in face-to-face discussions in order to tackle relevant community issues. Recorded for radio broadcast, the group conversations have included topics ranging from homelessness to race and identity with the hopes of getting people who wouldn’t normally meet together.
How the Jonesborough Yarn Exchange Radio Program Uses Live Community Storytelling
The Yarn Exchange Radio Program shares stories that cultivate a more cohesive community by drawing from its multigenerational and multicultural landscape. The ensemble cast, composed of community members, performs a monthly radio show on themes chosen by the cast.
How The Stand Uses a Community Photo Walk to Build Bridges and Share Untold Stories
The South Side Photo Walk, an annual workshop going on its ninth year held by Syracuse community newspaper The Stand, uses photography to bring people together and highlight a typical day in the South Side neighborhood of Syracuse, New York. Participants use photography to capture an aspect of the South Side community that is less frequently covered in the media.
How Vox Used Crowdsourcing to Bring Transparency to Emergency Room Fees
In October 2017, Vox launched a year-long crowdsourcing project to collect readers’ emergency room bills and bring more transparency to these costs. At the time of producing this case study, Vox has collected more than 1,500 bills since launching the project and produced multiple stories.
How Italy’s Cittadini Reattivi Civic Journalism Project is Helping Local Communities
Cittadini Reattivi is an online Italian crowd-sourced civic journalism project focused on health, the environment, and judicial issues. The project serves those who live in areas affected by pollution. Since founder and editor Rosy Battaglia launched the project in 2013, she has been able to gather user-generated story ideas, some of which led to new journalistic investigations.
How CIR’s Eyes on Oakland Project Got Oakland Residents Talking About Public Surveillance
Eyes on Oakland was a collaborative project launched in 2015 by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and the Mobile Arts Platform in Oakland, California. The project used a mobile van retrofitted with a portable recording studio and a screen-printing station to engage with the public on the topic of surveillance in the city.