Hello!

2018: The Year of Listening

For his Nieman Lab prediction last year, Andrew Haeg, founder and CEO of GroundSource, predicted that 2017 would be “The Year of Listening.” He wrote:

“Not only have the digital dimes not added up, but our addiction to scale and its primary fuel, social media, have created the illusion of expanding reach while actually eroding what made us indispensable in the first place: our role as trusted guides to a rapidly changing world.”

In order to earn the trust of the public, he urged newsrooms to start by listening — by “tuning into the concerns and voices of the whole community.”

Turns out that Andrew was off by a year. 2018 is actually “The Year of Listening.”

With the smoke bomb of 2017 now clearing, newsrooms can see that better listening and engagement are no longer “nice to have,” but are absolutely critical priorities for making good on their democratic obligations, as well as for their financial well-being.

Throughout 2018, then, the News Integrity Initiative is hosting a celebration of innovative community journalism. We will highlight creative, inspiring examples of newsrooms listening to and engaging with their communities, as well as civic dialogue projects that are fostering understanding and respect between people from diverse backgrounds. You will hear from a variety of innovative and just plain awesome folks about how they think about listening in their work and lives, as well as what we’re learning from research on bridging divides, and the science of change.

We also will host events and workshops throughout the year to help imagine and bring to fruition the opportunities for our communities when we commit to listening and learning from one another.

We’ve gotten a head start by supporting a number of tools and guides for better listening and engagement, and we will be sharing brand new ones with you, too. We also will be offering some special opportunities for you to experiment with them and get expert help.

On top of all of that, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that will be both inspirational and fun.

Join us for The Year of Listening, won’t you? Send us your thoughts and tips on listening, cool projects you think we should know about, ideas for events, or other activities you think we should consider this year. We’re all ears.

And please bookmark TheYearofListening.org, where we will be sharing inspiration, resources, and lots more information all year long. Follow us on Twitter (also Molly de Aguiar + Jenny Choi) and Facebook.

And stay tuned for more announcements soon!

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