The American Press Institute held an invitation-only Thought Leader Summit on newsroom listening and dialogue projects on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in Nashville, TN.
Creating a Culture of Listening: Using Dialogue to Bridge Divides gathered community-minded journalists, editors and nonprofit leaders who are pioneers of listening and dialogue projects in journalism. The event brought together people with a range of titles, all of whom have hands-on experience or big ideas on the ways journalists can better understand and serve the whole of their communities.
This summit built on API efforts to support newsroom practices that help news organizations serve the range of diverse audiences in their communities. At a time of eroding trust in news organizations and increasing polarization in politics, part of the solution is for newsrooms to use listening and dialogue to form deeper connections, understanding and trust across communities. At our summit, we held in-depth discussions on how to create organizational cultures that embrace listening, effective strategies for facilitating dialogue among divided community groups, and other topics.
Unlike a typical conference, the intimate, interactive summit allows each attendee to be an active participant, sharing their expertise and experiences while gaining actionable insights from others. Discussion topics for the day were surfaced in advance by invitees before arrival at the The Tennessean, our host for the event (and a news organization that is hosting in-person listening events with specific Nashville populations it wants to better understand and serve).
Following the event, ideas and practices from the day were distilled into a public resource, “How a culture of listening strengthens reporting and relationships.” Cole Goins, a community engagement consultant and former director of community engagement at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, assisted in planning the day and authored the resource.
Participating organizations included, among others:
100 Days in Appalachia
Alabama Media Group
Bay Area News Group
Bowling Green Daily News
By the Bay
Colorado Public Radio
The Coral Project
Dallas Morning News
The Daily Yonder
The GroundTruth Project
Listening Post Collective
Membership Puzzle Project
Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
Ohio County Monitor
On Being Project
Peoria Journal Star
Solutions Journalism Network
St. Louis Public Radio
The Tyler Loop
Space is limited at API Thought Leader Summits and participation is by invitation only; however, people interested in participating may apply for consideration. We look for individuals and organizations advancing the summit’s topic area, with efforts to show. We believe a diversity of lived experiences, skill sets and backgrounds makes these events successful.
For more information, contact Kevin Loker, API’s director of program operations and partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.