All posts filed under: New Skills

Engaging for trust: What news organizations can (and should) do right now

By Eric Garcia McKinley. Impact Architects recently wrapped up a five month long research project, supported by the News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, in which we analyzed engagement practices at four organizations — Outlier Media, a small non-profit; ProPublica, a large non-profit with a national presence; Free Press: News Voices, an information advocacy organization; and McClatchy, a national for-profit publisher. We asked about the relationship of engaged journalism with trust, revenue, and civic engagement. It was illuminating to see how very different organizations approached engaged journalism, and the full research report details the ways in which the organizations converge and diverge, along with recommendations for news organizations and media funders. But without diving into the (thorough!) report, it’s useful to ask what newsrooms can do to apply the research — right now. Here are some actions organizations can take based on our findings. And while you can start to take action as soon as you’re done reading this blog, don’t expect the payoff to come as instant gratification. The …

Creating Contact Zones

By jesikah maria ross. Civic aspiration is a powerful thing — it gives moral imagination someplace to go. — Krista Tippett, Journalist When you begin to imagine and act as if you live in the world you want to live in, you will have company. — Bernice Johnson Regan, Singer/Civil Rights Activist These quotes have been rolling around in my head a lot lately. I’m the Senior Community Engagement Strategist at an National Public Radio affiliate, pioneering new ways to bring together journalists, community members and powerbrokers to explore issues and propose solutions for the places we live. If there is any institution uniquely positioned to activate the public imagination these days, it’s public radio. We’re an independent public service network made up of artful storytellers and huge, devoted audiences. Because our audience represents a narrow demographic, the potential to reflect the distinct and diverse voices within our communities is seismic. Which leads to me the question: How can public radio create a new kind of listening experience where wildly diverse people come together and imagine as communities, examining the world …

How to Listen Better

By Josh Stearns. More than 30 tools, guides and examples to help journalists — and anyone else — be better listeners. In my weekly newsletter, The Local Fix, I compiled a list of guides, tools, and examples of how newsrooms can listen more deeply to local communities. I’m sharing it here in case it can be useful to others, and to encourage people to add to the list. Listening Articles and Guides Listening is a Revolutionary Act: Part 1 and Part 2 — Jesse Hardman Five Kinds of Listening for Newsrooms and Communities — Josh Stearns Listening as a designer, not a journalist, helped me look deeper — Charla Bear Want to Attract More Readers? Try Listening to Them — Liz Spayd Sensing as Listening: How sensor journalism helps us listen to our environment and each other — Lily Bui Collective Story Harvesting — Amanda Fenton Big Listening — Upwell Listening to People Outside the News — Melody Kramer How Community Listening Sessions Can Help Reach New Audiences — Teresa Gorman Photo by Simon Law, used via Creative Commons Listening Projects in Newsrooms WNNO: The Listening Post AZPM: Dimelo Project Washington Post: This Year I Learned WNYC: TalkBox Carolina Public Press: News Exchange WMMT: Calls From Home Cape and Islands …

Listen More Effectively

By Annemarie Dooling. When I agreed to teach audience development to a class of undergrads at West Virginia University (WVU), I wanted to focus on a few key segments of community management. Those segments would be the core aspects of audience development: basic interviewing skills, user behavior, and safety and moderation. After all, a good foundation in these skills can help newsrooms convert a one-time reader into an evangelist. What I didn’t count on was how much I would first have to teach the skills of basic listening. Listening is a skill that everyone thinks they do well. In truth, most of us are just waiting for the other person to finish talking so we can speak. With the often-earned reputation of harassing commenters and anonymous Twitter trolls burned into our minds, many established journalists have created coping strategies based around listening less, and asserting themselves more. I had hoped that their future colleagues of a younger age would be less burned by these problems, and more open to community conversations. What I learned was that these …