Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Community engagement (Page 2)

‘Focused listening’ can help address journalism’s trust problem — here are four examples

Public distrust and negative attitudes toward media are critical problems facing many news organizations. This distrust feels deepest among particular alienated groups — such as conservatives, or neighborhoods where a minority group is the majority — with whom many publishers have scant or shallow ties. Building trust with these disengaged or neglected communities will require […]

How Alabama Media Group uses simple text-messaging to listen to diverse voices

Editor’s note: This is part of a collection of essays on how to reach new audiences by listening. We asked four journalists from across the country to explain approaches they’ve used to build trust with specific communities, particularly those who may be alienated or disengaged. Writing from Alabama, Connor Sheets describes how he piloted a […]

How Richland Source held an event to serve local mothers — and listened, too

Editor’s note: This is part of a collection of essays on how to reach new audiences by listening. We asked four journalists from across the country to explain approaches they’ve used to build trust with specific communities, particularly those who may be alienated or disengaged. Writing from Ohio, Brittany Schock describes how Richland Source organized […]

How a Boston nonprofit newsroom starts its listening by popping up where people live and play

Editor’s note: This is part of a collection of essays on how to reach new audiences by listening. We asked four journalists from across the country to explain approaches they’ve used to build trust with specific communities, particularly those who may be alienated or disengaged. Writing from Massachusetts, Chris Faraone describes how the Boston Institute […]

How The Tennessean hosts meetings with alienated audiences to listen and understand

Editor’s note: This is part of a collection of essays on how to reach new audiences by listening. We asked four journalists from across the country to explain approaches they’ve used to build trust with specific communities, particularly those who may be alienated or disengaged. Writing from Tennessee, David Plazas describes how The Tennessean’s diversity […]

Quantifying the reach and impact of ‘Localore’ (2014) and ‘Localore: Finding America’ (2017) productions

Here we assess the reach and impact of two national Localore productions in 2014 and Finding America in 2017 across three platforms of engagement with which each production team experimented — broadcast, digital/social, and live events. These represent both local and national reach, as well as activity on the Finding America metasite where AIR’s documentaries […]

Best practices for doing community-driven storytelling

What journalists learn from listening to voices Each Finding America team immersed themselves deeply in their communities, first as outsiders and, over time, building meaningful relationships. The degree to which they succeeded in their assignment to create new story-making models was directly tied to their ability to establish trusting bonds. 1.) People are yearning for […]

10 key steps to making community-driven stories

Telling stories with and for people, instead of merely treating people as “sources,” is no easy task. The Finding America lead producers faced myriad obstacles while taking on the job of inventing new models for storytelling, but didn’t let these obstacles deter them. Some of the obstacles below involve finding ways to challenge traditional journalistic […]

At a glance: The Finding America projects, producers & lead collaborators

Visit Finding America’s metasite — findingamerica.airmedia.org — for additional context and ongoing updates from the projects below.  Anacostia Unmapped → Katie Davis, Brendan Sweeney, WAMU | Anacostia, a historically black neighborhood that is literally omitted from some maps of D.C., is where WAMU and Davis invite residents to lead storytelling efforts and explore the question […]

A reflection on the power of creative storytelling to unite communities

By Mallary Tenore In times of disparity and political division, storytelling can be beautifully unifying. My work on this report began in July 2016 with a weekend trip to Richmond, Virginia, where I attended a live storytelling event that AIR’s lead producer Kelley Libby led with the help of a community collaborator. There was a […]

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