All posts filed under: Research

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 …

Connecting the dots: Engaged journalism, trust, revenue, and civic engagement

by Lindsay Green-Barber. Across the news industry, organizations large and small, commercial and nonprofit, single issue and daily news are experimenting with “engagement.” Audience engagement. Engaged journalism. Engagement editors and specialists. Engaging for trust. And the list goes on. But what is engagement? Why are organizations experimenting with it, and to what effect? We set out to answer these questions through a four month research project. First, we surveyed the field to identify the practices organizations consider to be “engaged journalism,” and came to define it as an inclusive practice that prioritizes the information needs and wants of the community members it serves, creates collaborative space for the audience in all aspects of the journalistic process, and is dedicated to building and preserving trusting relationships between journalists and the public. Then, we dove deep into four very different organizations to learn not only what they do, but why they engage with communities and how they know if their strategies are working. Our research builds on that of Lisa Heyamoto and Todd Milbourn’s Agora Journalism Center Report. Through this research, we found evidence to support the …

Listening Without Prejudice

By John Crowley. At this year’s International Journalism Festival in Perugia, there was a steep incline I would navigate each morning to get to the town centre. The steps of Sant’Ercolano bend around a Baroque church of the same name. It’s all about the ‘journey’ these days and, after I’d dragged my carcass to the top of the hill each morning, I would drink in the view, panting for breath, driven by one journalistic thought: “What in heaven’s name possessed me into having that extra glass of Grappa last night?” From the outside looking in, Perugia might be seen as therapy for jaded journalists. Who fancies sitting atop a medieval Italian town, gazing into the middle distance and momentarily forgetting our industry’s woes? Sure, the spritzers slip down well, but the breadth and quality of IJF is astounding. Hundreds of speakers tackled subjects such as trust in the media, migration, fact-checking, confronting trauma, local journalism, diversity and inclusion, business models, freedom of expression, philanthropy in the media, and much more. Up to 200 volunteers made such a massive …

How are we going to invite and listen to audiences we’ve typically ignored?

By Jenny Choi. Last night in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood a roomful of journalists and community members gathered to discuss the launch of the University of Texas in Austin’s Center for Media Engagement research analyzing Chicago audiences by neighborhood, roughly divided by the north, west and south-side regions. This event was a part of the Chicago civic media lab City Bureau’s Public Newsroom convening series. In full disclosure, I was a program officer at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and recommended the funding of this study, mostly to get updated baseline data on audience attitudes in specific regions I already knew were identified “information deserts” based on past studies in a new social media as ubiquitous newsfeed reality. (Newsflash: the majority of Chicago residents surveyed get their news from social media!) It’s no secret that Chicago is a highly segregated major city – and that racially and socioeconomically the South and West sides tend to be predominantly black and brown and poorer than their predominantly white northern counterpart. The Center for Media Engagement study showed …