What local news organizations are learning by guiding audiences to practical information
Join the American Press Institute for a discussion Monday, June 27, 2022, on how publishers are building upon experiments with practical guides, messaging services and more, including lessons that may help guide outreach and coverage for the fall 2022 elections.
Local news organizations seeking to better serve their communities in recent years have leaned into conveying practical information on many pressing topics such as navigating safety and voting in a pandemic, hurricane preparedness and how people can access housing and health services in their communities.
During this time, the American Press Institute has supported many experiments in guiding audiences to practical information. Whether these efforts are called “service journalism,” “utility journalism” or have no special name, microgrants through our Trusted Elections Network Fund and Local News Ideas-To-Action Fund have empowered local news organizations to help their communities understand ballot initiatives, safely vote, access housing and other local services, and participate in decisions about local development.
Along the way, we’ve heard how this work is:
- Addressing local needs
- Supporting local civic engagement
- Building relationships with communities that often distrust media
- Informing accountability and investigative journalism
- Building a foundation for new sources of revenue
API will host an open Zoom discussion on Monday, June 27, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET to discuss what local news organizations are learning about modern service journalism. Much of this work is rooted in deep listening to community needs through engagement in various venues — e.g. in-person, or over messaging apps or text — and simple experiments that can build momentum for greater work.
We’ll hear from four organizations that participated in American Press Institute’s Local News Ideas to Action Fund (2021) or Trusted Elections Network Fund (2020):
- Glenn Burkins, QCity Metro, whose project focused on essential voting logistics in 2020 accompanied by short videos with older Black Americans discussing the importance of voting
- Cecily Weisburgh, Keene Sentinel, whose project developed a website with resources for local residents facing housing insecurity
- Fernando Soto, Nuestro Estado, whose project helped residents find and understand resources for issues such as local health and hurricane preparedness
- Ben Trefny, KALW, whose project distributed voting information in precincts with low voter turnout in collaboration with community partners
We’ll then invite participant questions to kick-start conversation about guiding communities to practical information in 2022 elections as well as other local contexts.
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