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  • JTM 3:33 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Table of Contents 

    A graphic record of the conference

    Post-conference contributions

    Conference Session Notes Themes

    Plenary Sessions
    Community building: beyond the newsroom
    Community building: within the newsroom
    Diversity
    Civics/issues for citizens
    Tools and training
    Personal growth
    Making a living
    Funding
    Metrics

     

    Plenary Sessions

    Thursday: Lightning Chat World Cafe End of day harvest
    Friday: Evening News End of day reflections
    Saturday: Morning News Regina Lawrence and Fishbowl with University of Oregon students
    Saturday: Afternoon News Mid-day one-liners
    Saturday: Pro Action Cafe Sessions Topics
    Sunday: A synthesis of the conference notes Nut graphs from our notes
    Sunday: Imagine an Engagement Community of Practice Themes, generative images, the keepers
    Sunday: Community of Practice Projects A list of initiatives
    Sunday: Final reflections Closing statements
    Conference Themes From student reporters
    Report on Twitter #pdxEngage17 What appeared at #pdxEngage17

    Community building: beyond the newsroom

    • Annie Anderson
    • How do you define/create community when you have a national audience?
    • Yu Vongkiatkajorn
    • Adin Rogovin
    • Heather Bryant
    • Linda Miller
    • Keegan Shilo-Clements
    • Taylyn Washington-Harmon

     

    Community building: within the newsroom

    • How can you create an engaged newsroom from scratch?
    • Joe Barr
    • Ariel Zirulnick
    • Subbu Vincent
    • Jerome Vaughn
    • Cole Goins
    • Amber Rivera
    • Keegan Shilo-Clements
    • Joy Mayer
    • Bill Densmore

     

    Diversity

    • How can we better incorporate conversations around diversity as we work to foster audience engagement practices?
    • Paul Waters
    • Ivan Roman
    • Daniela Gerson
    • Anthony Advincula
    • Alisha Saville
    • Simon Nyi
    • Bob Stilger
    • How do we get the “boring,” not newsworthy, silent majority to be heard?
    • Kristin Gustaff
    • Kathryn Langstaff
    • Cordelia Reichel
    • Amy Wang

     

    Civics/issues for citizens

    • Christine Whitney Sanchez
    • Mitsue Cook
    • How does access to live stream local government meetings affect in providing a simple civic engagement solution?
    • Marpessa Allen
    • Linda Ellinor
    • Where are the stories children and adults experience with mental health through their own eyes?
    • Mansour Abdur-Rahim
    • Simon Galparin
    • Prism Pantaz

     

    Tools and training

    • How do we move online video from one-way broadcasts to two-way engagement?
    • Rodney Gibbs
    • Pamela Behrsin
    • Jake Batsell
    • Ben DeJarnette
    • Yve Susskind
    • Jesikah Marie Ross

     

    Personal growth

    • Am I a journalist?
    • Elaine Cha
    • What risk is your heart urging you to take? In work? In life What’s the risk? What’s the reward? What’s your next step?
    • Michelle Holmes
    • Sydette Harry

     

    Making a living

    • Yu Vongkiatkajorn
    • Simon Nyi
    • How can one make a living as an engagement “professional” w/o being co-opted by marketing?
    • Elaine Cha
    • Being a recent college grad and understanding your role in media whether it’s traditional or unconventional
    • Claudia Lopez

     

    Funding

    • How can “commercial” interests work with journalists to create engaged communities?
    • Suzette Riley
    • Anything you’ve ever wanted to tell a funder
    • Paul Waters
    • Gracie McKenzie
    • Jo Ellen Kaiser
    • No name in notes posted

     

    Metrics

    • Regina Lawrence
    • Jesse Hardman
    • Lauren Katz

     

    Sunday: Community of Practice Projects

    Session overview Bill Densmore
    Create a short, adaptable guide for journalist to design and host community conversations Andrew Rockway
    Bringing Open Space + Engagement into newsrooms to model ways to engage outside the newsroom Ashley Alvarado

    Lori Shontz

    Stories of what is and isn’t working for members of the Elevate Engagement community Keegan Shiloh-Housser
    Identify the next group of Gather power users and steering committee members Ben DeJarnette

    Andrew DeVigal

    Hire engagement practitioners and connect participants to jobs Summer Fields
    Connect EE2 participants with news organizations who may value their ideas Michelle Holmes
    Convene next gathering of this group at the People Power Publishing Conference, Nov. 8-9, Chicago Simon Nyi

     

     
  • JTM 12:44 pm on July 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Summary of Themes 

    From the developmental evaluation

    Compiled by Yve Susskind, of Praxis Associates, for Journalism That Matters and the Agora Center for Journalism.

    The themes listed in this document represent the collective wisdom of the 130 attendees at the May 2017 Elevate Engagement conference co-hosted by Journalism That Matters and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and held at the Agora Journalism Center in Portland.

    The qualitative data from which these themes are distilled include two key sources:

    Themes through Saturday  A team of seven students, working under the direction of Yve Susskind and Lori Shontz (U of O Journalism School faculty member), documented “nuggets of insight” that they heard in all conference activities, Thursday through Saturday. They focused their attention through a set of conceptual lenses, such as “reflections on the way things are now and what needs to change,” “emerging responses and aspirations,” and “areas of tension or uncertainty.” Each day, the team met a few times to cluster the “nuggets.” On Saturday night, Yve developed the clusters further into distinct themes with representative quotes. Yve also incorporated into the theming process data from several group “harvests” – activities that engaged participants in surfacing insights and emerging themes – as well as graphic recording posters by Nitya Wakhlu, and an analysis of the conference Twitter stream. These themes are presented in the Themes through Saturday document.

    Manifesto: This document, authored by Joy Mayer, Kyle Bozentko and March Twisdale, captures the aspirations of the community of practice to “elevate engagement so that each of us and all of us thrive,” the forward-looking question for the last day of the conference. On Sunday, groups of participants each reviewed one set of artifacts from the conference to distill nutshell paragraphs capturing the essence of the story. Joy, Kyle and March incorporated these Nutgraphs, as well as Nitya Wakhlu’s graphic recordings from Sunday morning discussion notes and Generative images into the Manifesto.

    In addition, the following artifacts were reviewed one final time to identify any other themes that might not have made it into the Themes through Saturday or the Manifesto:

    Organization of the list of themes

    As the themes became clear, six larger categories emerged that became the major headings:

    • The shared values and goals of the Community of Practice
    • Changes that are needed for the field of journalism
    • How journalism can truly serve communities
    • Challenges and questions about engagement
    • Inward looking questions about the Community of Practice
    • Next steps.

    The list of themes with sub-themes, organized into these six categories, is color-coded to show the sources of each:

    • Themes from the Sunday Manifesto are in green
    • Themes that are not in the Manifesto but are in the Themes through Saturday are in red
    • Themes from other artifacts are in blue
    • Headings in black indicate that sub-points came from multiple sources.

    Representative quotes, as captured by the student note-takes, are provided for many of the themes.

    THE THEMES

    COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE UNITED BY SHARED VALUES AND GOALS OF “ENGAGED JOURNALISM”

    • Shared values:
      • listening
      • collaborating
      • dialogue (putting people together across divides for conversation, for deep radical engagement)
      • reconciliation
      • curiosity
      • desire to be a force for good
      • love and heart
      • being relational, not transactional
      • empowerment
      • weaving
      • complexity
      • fluidity
      • subjectivity

    “Engagement is human beings opening their hearts to one another”

    “Doing Journalism in a way that lets people know we love them”

    “People are not getting the kinds of relationships they want with journalists when they go online to try to engage with them.  People want more relational moments with journalists. And so do journalists.”

    “Authenticity is what it really boils down to. People can tell when journalists do over-commercialization, and they hate it.”

    “Journalism of past felt entitled to whatever info it wanted to take from community. Now has to build relationships”

    “We want to see journalism be less transactional/extractive and more about partnerships.”

    • We are all in this together

    “Let’s move away from ‘we talk, you listen’ to ‘we are all in this together.’”

    “Imagine what they’ll say to you if they see you as a journalist. Now imagine what they’ll say to you if they see you as a citizen.”

    • Shared goals:
      • hearing from and reflecting people who go unheard
      • moving from debate to dialogue
      • enlisting the public to serve the public’s needs
      • seeking business models for sustainable, responsible, and accountable journalism
      • listening to what people are saying they want and need and responding to that, creating common vocabulary

    “If you aren’t reporting what they need, it’s sales—not journalism”

    “Focus on making things useful for people rather than flagrant demonstrations of our own intelligence.  Can someone under stress use this, is it what they need, not just I thought of this and it’s really shiny.”

    “Debate is the norm in our culture. It means to beat down.  What is here is dialogue.  It means flowing through.  It’s about curiosity, inquiry and making connections and that difference are source of creativity and information. Imagine journalism that is guided by dialogue.”

    CHANGES THAT ARE NEEDED IN JOURNALISM

    • To accept how journalists are viewed by disenfranchised communities
      • Many people don’t trust journalists enough to engage and don’t perceive them as a solution
      • Realize ethnic media isn’t second class

    “Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the pain that we caused, the voices that have been suppressed and ignored systemically for generations.”

    “Stop looking at communities as “problems to fix” – start listening. No missionary journalism”

    “We’re often the bearers of bad news for our community. And! We ask them to pay for it.”

    “There are people who don’t think media is a solution—they think it’s a problem”

    • Realize that the identity(ies) of the journalist matters

    “People had to go out and create their own papers because the people in the ethnic communities found that the other media were not competent to cover them.”

    • Journalism needs to get over itself. Change journalism so it’s not a priesthood instead of a distributed environment in which people can be heard

    “Does anyone else feel excited about the crumbling of the traditional institution?” [a bunch of hands go up!]

    • Current professionalization of journalism preserves white supremacy and other forms of elitism

    “There is elitism in writing that alienates people who otherwise might participate in conversation. (Good writing might mean good ideas, but bad writing doesn’t necessarily mean bad ideas)”

    • Get beyond the echo chamber

    “Journalists need to acknowledge their own bubble.”

    Just because journalists aren’t talking about something doesn’t mean no one is. Find the unheard stories.”

    “We’re treating commentary like a higher form of journalism rather than talking to people and seeing facts.”

    • Journalists need to stop standing outside, they need to become part of communities and be like hosts (in the way that hosts are not “objective” facilitators).

    “There is no reason that newsrooms couldn’t do this kind of engagement that JTM does in communities.  We have the model, it’s right here.”

    • Be guided by transparency rather than “objectivity”
    • Learn how not to commercializes people’s lives

    “When I became a journalist my conversations changed. Every person became a potential source.”

    • Collaborate, not just compete; step outside our engagement silos as journalists, organizers, facilitators, artists, and actually engaged across the silos to make a bigger difference
    • Stop obsessing over married middle class people and not 100,000,000 low-income people

    WHAT MUST BE DONE SO THAT JOURNALISM CAN TRULY SERVE COMMUNITIES?

    • Community of practice must do work quickly, urgently, and passionately because democracy is in jeopardy and because engaged practice can be a catalyst toward community healing
      • However, the quickest way is not always the best way; engagement is not efficient, relationships are not efficient 
    • Communities need to be heard, what matters to them

    “The opportunity to be vulnerable with someone in the room is transformational.”

    “Relationships can be an encounter. They don’t have to be persistent. We may never see each other again but the experience will last.” “Aloha: We’ve met and we’re in each others lives forever.”

    “As member of the media, we are often seen as the person telling people that their community is damaged and their deeply held views are wrong. Instead we can offer them the feeling of being listened to, that they matter. Otherwise, maybe we are part of the problem (and we expect people to pay for that?!)”

    • Focus on the community’s point of view, not the newsroom’s

    “The newsroom has to forget its POV and appreciate the POV of the communities it serves.”

    • Ask about lived experiences, not opinions
    • Journalism that matters to communities
    • Engage first. Deep radical engagement implies engagement before the journalism. We must listen and engage and develop stories from there.

    “What if you start thinking of the community as your newsroom when you need validation, feedback, when you need to know if you are on the right track, instead of going to your newsroom or your editor or your institution.”

    What to listen for: “Information they need,” “Engagement gaps,” “Ways they’ve been hurt,” “What they care about,” “How they are being harmed,” “How they are amazing and resilient,” “How their stories inspire others ,” “What experiences they need.”

    • Bring people together and build understanding
    • Invest in people

    “Invite people for lunch, work with libraries, ask people for their story.”

    • Determine whether a story is what community wants or needs

    “If what we are here to do is meet community needs, what happens if the community doesn’t need content or story? If we’re in the business of meeting the needs of community, we might need to rethink what we do and how.”

    “Take the story to the next step and facilitate actual change.”

    • Experiences that bring people together and build understanding. More information can actually create more splits between people.

    “People today need experiences. Not more information. They are drowning in information”

    “Go out to those who have the most to lose and center the stories on what they have to say.”

    • Cover grassroots movements
    • Embrace fear and vulnerability
    • Build and sustain democracy

    CHALLENGES AND QUESTIONS

    • Am I a “journalist”? How can we define the journalism baby that’s in the bathwater. Don’t throw it all out (e.g., The role of J is still to contribute to a healthy democracy; Engagement has been around for a long time-we didn’t invent it.)

    “We don’t have to actually reinvent the wheel, we just have to remember where some of our foundations lie. We are public servants. That is our job, serving our communities.”

    “We are essentially activists, people who give a shit, who serve the community and the way we do that should be responsible.”

    • Becoming trusted agents of engagement when to some degree some of the journalism we have done is criminal to underserved communities
    • Figuring out whether energy should be devoted to changing institutions
    • Are we ‘Columbus’ing engagement that ethnic media, embedded in communities, have been practicing all along?

    “Community journalists, civic journalists, rural journalists, journalists of color etc. have been doing this work for a really long time, unacknowledged and unfunded. Now that this kind of work has caught the attention of schools, industry, funders, there is a movement around it that doesn’t include or acknowledge those people. The gentrification of community centered journalism.”

    • Let’s be honest about what we mean by community.

    “Are we using “community” as an excuse to pretend that we talked to a whole population of people.  If 10 people show up, do we assume that that’s the people?”

    “The word community makes me uncomfortable.  Communities don’t want to be communities. They want to be fractured, tribal and segregated. So what are communities exactly?  There is an ideal, but it does not reflect reality.”

    • Reflecting values of community without normalizing hate speech
    • Can media organizations embrace the idea of letting communities know we love them?
    • Recognizing that we didn’t create engagement and that there are still valuable resources in current institutional/mainstream media frameworks

    INWARD QUESTIONS: HOW CAN WE ELEVATE ENGAGEMENT IN OUR COMMUNITY SO THAT WE THRIVE? WHAT DO WE NEED AS INDIVIDUALS TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES? HOW WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER:

    • Community of practice is remote and diverse, but necessary to be supported and emboldened to do sometimes lonely work; Hold on to this feeling of belonging
    • Know that it’s okay to be uncomfortable and trust anyway

    “Commit to and trust the inspiration that’s guiding you in your life and work, and really trust it and step right into it.”

    “It’s OK to be uncomfortable and the best stories come when you break past your own borders and definitions.”

    “I need to always stay in a place where I don’t know what I am doing, because if I ever come out of this humble and scared place then I am not learning and that doesn’t do any good to anyone.”

     “Always experimenting and always learning from those experiments.”

    • This work requires a shared narrative, access to best practice and resources, support, crowdfunding, and conversation about the influence of money, the culture of the industry, and how we are getting this wrong, that invites all perspectives. It requires collaboration.

    “Let’s conspire – meaning to breathe together. To breathe new life into our work, community, dreams.”

    • Learn together (e.g., about building an engaged newsroom, finding the questions and pain points people want to talk about, engaging across different ideologies, making journalism both democratically beneficial and commercially viable; ways to demonstrate impact and spreadability)
    • Collaborate to demonstrate impact but not necessarily scalability

    “You have to give up the idea that this is going to go to a wider audience and scale.” “Making community engagement work means doing work that doesn’t fit traditional metric and funding goals.”

    • Create innovative ways to fund journalism/engagement because we can’t wait for the institutions to change their priorities

    “New structures to enable these projects to live in communities, e.g., community information districts.”

    “Work with funders to increase support for nonlinear ways to demonstrate impact when much is uncertain and unpredictable.”

    WHAT COMES NEXT?

    • The Gather platform
    • Supporting each other in community
    • Connecting over social media
    • Making industry networks and connections
    • Spreading Open Space technology
    • Tracking and sharing results
     
  • JTM 9:36 am on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Sunday: Imagine an Engagement Community of Practice 

    Following a review of all of the notes and related materials created at Elevate Engagement, conference participants used Playdoh and a skit to imagine a thriving engagement community of practice. Yes, we took us away from words to express those aspects that transcend language.

    After sharing the “art” with each other, we generated phrases that captured what we learned from our creative expressions:

     

    Here’s the art:

     
  • JTM 9:20 am on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Sunday: Nut graphs from our notes 

    During our last day, the conference focus shifted from How can we elevate engagement so that communities thrive?

    to

    How can we as a community of practice elevate engagement so that each of us and all of us thrive?

    We began the day by splitting into groups to review the many artifacts generated during the conference:

    • The graphic records made of our discussions by Nitya Wakhlu
    • Twitter conversations using our event hashtag, #PDXEngage17
    • Notes from our breakout sessions and plenary sessions (uploaded here)
    • Notes from conversations had among participants before the event
    • Postcards participants wrote to themselves at the end of the event
    • Notes taken by University of Oregon students throughout the sessions and developed into Themes by Yve Susskind

    The groups created the “nut graphs” – nutshell paragraphs that capture the essence of the story from these sources – noted below.

    Graphic record

    Journalism is a byproduct of the community. This community needs to put on its own oxygen mask first. To do this, we need a shared narrative, along with access to best practices and resources. We need support for creation and sustainability, and to recognize the influence of money in our work. We need to invite and embrace the full range of our experiences.

    Twitter Feed

    On Twitter, the people at the event were influential in their own communities and spiked use of the hashtag around the world. We interacted with each other differently than we do at most conferences — we were active mostly in the morning and at dinner. During the event, we were focused on in-person engagement. We wanted to share a focus on communities that are unheard, the value of leaving our comfort zones and the challenge and importance of the work we do. We also shared visuals/images that spoke to our values.

    Plenaries

    Our community of practice is seeking guidance and mutual support to elevate engagement in our work. We’re seeking business models that allow us to pursue our mission sustainably. We recognize the limitations of our own skill sets and are seeking to enlist the public to serve the public’s needs. Journalists are seeking strategies and practices to help develop new skills, build new teams and move from debate to dialogue. We face institutional constraints, and many are wondering if they should work within existing institutions or find/build new institutions to accomplish our goals. We’re facing our fears, recognizing that fear, conflict and vulnerability can be constructive. Some of that fear comes from financial necessity. We recognize that financial sustainability is tied to the trust we believe engagement can help us build with the public and that providing something useful and valuable that sustains community, rather than trying to sell people content they don’t want. Our community of practice needs to maintain a sense of urgency that we we as journalists do needs to change because journalism is doing harm and our civic institutions are in jeopardy.

    Session Notes

    We actually have the tools necessary — listening, collaborating, dialogue, reconciliation — to engage our community and ourselves.

    Session Notes

    Our community members want to feel like part of a tribe without wondering if we’re welcome in the clubhouse. That involves having enthusiastic conveners.  We also want remote colleagues and collaboration partners to share resources, strategies, solutions and values.

    Postcards from after the event and quotes from paired conversations before the event

    We have a need to remember this feeling of belonging and know that we are not alone.  Because we feel a burning passion and ethical obligation to bring this work into the world, we need to stay connected in a way that allows all of our voices to matter and offers a clear, practical way to ask for support.

    Student harvest

    In their role as public servants and working in collaboration with their communities and with each other, journalists must employ listening and storytelling to engage with the world. It will take dedication and passion to give our work the meaning, purpose and expression required to create a stronger democracy. Success will mean creating unity, rather than division and projecting a positive image of our future.

     

     
  • JTM 9:13 am on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Conference Themes from student reporters 

    ELEVATE ENGAGEMENT 2017

    THEMES

    Dear Friends,

    Nine of us attending Elevate Engagement happily took on the task of paying close attention to what was said and documenting the emerging themes. We were participant observers, meaning that we were not on the outside looking in, but on the inside, reflecting back to the whole group what we all were learning. Of course, what seemed important was influenced by our own values/life experiences, by listening carefully for the deeply-felt truths of the speakers, by sensing the energy of the room, and also by our recent deep dive into the JTM report on the principles of civic communications.

    As the conference proceeded, we documented the nuggets of insight that we heard in a shared document, clustering them as we went.  It was interesting (and informed our sense of the themes) to see how often we captured the same “chunks,” which we also saw pop up on the Twitter feed.  The shared document that contains the clustered chunks is over 20 pages long, so what I have produced here is a summary in outline form, with several illustrative quotes sprinkled throughout.  If you’d like to see the full document, which also contains photos of some of August’s playdoh creations, go here. I’m sure that there are still some great nuggets in that longer doc that I didn’t do justice to in this summary, so if you see some ideas that aren’t represented, we should add them.  Let me know.

    This outline is not the final analysis, by any means. Some “data” still hasn’t been integrated, such as the full list of open space sessions topics, observations from any OS sessions that did not have one of our team present (especially on Sunday), the Pro Action Café, the postcards, and probably some other items I can’t think of right now. (We were able, however, to fold in the harvest that Nitya did in her amazing graphic recording posters, and also the pre-conference conversation quotes that were posted around Agora). It would also be great to take a closer look at what showed up most loudly in Twitter.

    At this moment, I don’t know exactly what the next steps – if any – will be to do a “checks and balances” process that would incorporate more of that data, to get validation of the themes and identify what else is missing.  The hosting and developmental evaluation team will be discussing that over the next few weeks, I’m sure. Be in touch if you want an update.

    That said, my understanding of what is going to happen on Sunday morning is that you all will be looking at conference artifacts, including these notes, but also the other material that was generated and do a collective theming process.  While I am so sorry to miss that (being now in Phoenix for my niece’s wedding), I am very excited that it’s going to happen. It will be a great way to do some of that checks and balances I just mentioned (“triangulation” in eval speak). I am so eager to see how your themes compare to/inform/deepen/shift what we have in these notes.

    If you’d like to learn more about the process that our group of nine used, there are documents describing our method and the developmental eval. approach, in the Resources section of Gather. Also, feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to talk more about developmental evaluation, or other ways to infuse the asking of critical questions into our work.

    I know I said it so many times over the last couple of days, but I just need to put it in writing here, too: Thank you deeply to the U of O Journalism students and their incredible mentor Lori for joining me on this adventure: Alex Powers, August Frank, Emily Olson, Mark Kellman, Matt Gatie, Payton Bruni, Sydney Padgett, and Lori Shontz.

    With love and appreciation,

    Yve,

    Developmental Evaluator with Journalism That Matters and The Agora Center

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yve Susskind, Ph.D.

    Praxis Associates, LLC.

    Planning, Facilitation, Research and Evaluation 

    for Education, Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations

     

    Yve@PraxisAssociates.com

    http://www.PraxisAssociates.com

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/YveSusskind


    ENGAGEMENT IS…

    … Journalism

    …About love and heart; it’s relational, not transactional

    “Engagement is human beings opening their hearts to one another”

    “Doing Journalism in a way that lets people know we love them”

    “People are not getting the kinds of relationships they want with journalists when they go online to try to engage with them.  People want more relational moments with journalists. And so do journalists.”

    “Authenticity is what it really boils down to. People can tell when journalists do over-commercialization, and they hate it.”

    “Journalism of past felt entitled to whatever info it wanted to take from community. Now has to build relationships”

    “We want to see journalism be less transactional/extractive and more about partnerships.”

    …Listening to what people are saying they want and need and responding to that:

    • Information they need
    • Engagement gaps
    • Ways they’ve been hurt
    • What they care about
    • How they are being harmed
    • How they are amazing and resilient
    • How their stories inspire others
    • What experiences they need

    “If you aren’t reporting what they need, it’s sales—not journalism”

    “Focus on making things useful for people rather than flagrant demonstrations of our own intelligence.  Can someone under stress use this, is it what they need, not just I thought of this and it’s really shiny.”

    “People today need experiences. Not more information. They are drowning in information”“Go out to those who have the most to lose and center the stories on what they have to say.”

    …Always new

    “I need to always stay in a place where I don’t know what I am doing, because if I ever come out of this humble and scared place then I am not learning and that doesn’t do any good to anyone.”

    “Always experimenting and always learning from those experiments.”

    …Empowerment

    …Dialogue

    “Debate is the norm in our culture. It means to beat down.  What is here is dialogue.  It means flowing through.  It’s about curiosity, inquiry and making connections and that difference are source of creativity and information. Imagine journalism that is guided by dialogue.”

    Putting people together across divides for conversation, for deep radical engagement – bringing people together and getting them to talk.

    That we are all in this together.

    “Let’s move away from ‘we talk, you listen’ to ‘we are all in this together.’”

    “Imagine what they’ll say to you if they see you as a journalist. Now imagine what they’ll say to you if they see you as a citizen.”

     

    CHANGES THAT ARE NEEDED IN JOURNALISM

    … To accept how Journalists are viewed by disenfranchised communities

    Start by accepting that a lot of people don’t trust us to engage with us and don’t see us as a solution for their communities to thrive.

    Ethnic media is not second-class.(see “are we “columbus’ing,” below”)

    “Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the pain that we caused, the voices that have been suppressed and ignored systemically for generations.”

    “Stop looking at communities as “problems to fix” – start listening. No missionary journalism”

    “We’re often the bearers of bad news for our community. And! We ask them to pay for it.”

    “There are people who don’t think media is a solution—they think it’s a problem”

    “Yes, we need to focus on who is being harmed in society and give that voice, but we also need to be concerned about the harm we might be doing.”

     

    Journalism needs to get over itself. Change journalism so it’s not a priesthood but a distributed environment where people can be heard/surrender.

    “Does anyone else feel excited about the crumbling of the traditional institution?” [a bunch of hands go up!]

     

    The professionalization of Journalism is a way of preserving white power and other forms of elitism

    “There is elitism in writing that alienates people who otherwise might participate in conversation. (Good writing might mean good ideas, but bad writing doesn’t necessarily mean bad ideas)”

     

    Get beyond the echo chamber.

    “Journalists need to acknowledge their own bubble.

    Just because journalists aren’t talking about something doesn’t mean no one is. Find the unheard stories.”

    “We’re treating commentary like a higher form of journalism rather than talking to people and seeing facts.”

    What would it mean if we stepped outside our engagement silos as journalists, organizers, facilitators, artists, and actually engaged across the silos to make a bigger difference?

    The quickest way to get something done is not necessarily what is needed; engagement is not efficient. We need to build inefficiencies into the system because—relationships are inefficient.

    Journalists need to stop standing outside, they need to become part of communities and be like hosts (in the way that hosts are not “objective” facilitators).

    “There is no reason that newsrooms couldn’t do this kind of engagement that JTM does in communities.  We have the model, it’s right here.”

    Does the identity of the journalist matter?  Yes.

    “People had to go out and create their own papers because the people in the ethnic communities found that the other media were not competent to cover them.”

    Transparency, not objectivity. The most important way to foster an engagement process is to be transparent.

    We are learning how to not commercialize people’s lives.

    “When I became a journalist my conversations changed. Every person became a potential source.”

     

    WHAT COMMUNITIES NEED FROM JOURNALISM

    To be heard – people want media to hear what matters to them

    “The opportunity to be vulnerable with someone in the room is transformational.”

    “Relationships can be an encounter. They don’t have to be persistent. We may never see each other again but the experience will last.” “Aloha: We’ve met and we’re in each others lives forever.”

    “As member of the media, we are often seen as the person telling people that their community is damaged and their deeply held views are wrong. Instead we can offer them the feeling of being listened to, that they matter. Otherwise, maybe we are part of the problem (and we expect people to pay for that?!)”

    Focus on community’s point of view, not the newsroom’s POV

    For us to stop looking at communities as problems that we are there to fix and stop practicing missionary journalism, and start doing the work of listening to what the community needs.

    To effectively cover communities with different value systems, we need to ask not about people’s opinions, but about their lived experiences.

    “The newsroom has to forget it’s POV and appreciate the POV of the communities it serves.”

     

    For us to engage first. Deep radical engagement implies engagement before the journalism. We must listen and engage and develop stories from there.

    “What if you start thinking of the community as your newsroom when you need validation, feedback, when you need to know if you are on the right track, instead of going to your newsroom or your editor or your institution.”

    And once we find out what people want and need, it might not be a story that is what should happen next (or it might not end at the story).

    “If what we are here to do is meet community needs, what happens if the community doesn’t need content or story? If we’re in the business of meeting the needs of community, we might need to rethink what we do and how.”

    “Take the story to the next step and facilitate actual change.”

    Experiences that bring people together and build understanding. More information can actually create more splits between people.

    For us to invest in people, not just in engagement

    “Invite people for lunch, work with libraries, ask people for their story.”

    Reporters gotta get out and cover the grassroots movements in the communities.

    WHAT WE AS INDIVIDUALS NEED TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES

    To know that it’s OK to be uncomfortable and to trust anyway

    “Commit to and trust the inspiration that’s guiding you in your life and work, and really trust it and step right into it.”

    “It’s OK to be uncomfortable and the best stories come when you break past your own borders and definitions.”

    Crowdfunding engagement because we can’t wait for the institutions to change their priorities

    Someone in the newsroom who’s bold enough to stand up and say, ‘How are we getting this wrong?’

    THIS COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE NEEDS TO COLLABORATE IN ORDER TO…
    (“if we could learn to be collaborative over competitive, that would blow my mind.”)

    …Demonstrate impact but not necessarily scalability

    “You have to give up the idea that this is going to go to a wider audience and scale.” aking community engagement work means doing work that doesn’t fit traditional metric and funding goals.”

    …Create innovative ways to fund journalism/engagement because we can’t wait for the institutions to change their priorities

    “New structures to enable these projects to live in communities, e.g., community information districts.”

    “Work with funders to increase support for nonlinear ways to demonstrate impact when much is uncertain and unpredictable.”

    …Develop a common vocabulary for clarity and understanding

    Codify and standardize engagement processes in newsrooms across the country

    What is community and how do we show how we belong?

    There is no magic bullet for engagement, so helping us see the many ways.

    …Figure out ways to transform this experience for people who weren’t in the room.

    …Learn together about:

    How to build engaged newsroom from the ground up

    Ways to find the questions that people want to talk about, the pain points

    Ways to engage with people with different ideological mindsets.

    How do make journalism democratically beneficial and commercially viable.

    How to increase spreadability of smaller sized efforts, not just scalability (study what kinds of things spread and how and how much/far)  

    Ways to demonstrate impact in the complex and constantly changing social systems we work in.

    “Make the pitch to the community, not to the funder. Find the pain point in the community.”

    “Let’s conspire – meaning to breathe together. To breathe new life into our work, community, dreams.”

    CHALLENGES/QUESTIONS

    Am I a journalist?

    How can we become trusted agents of engagement when to some degree some of the journalism we have done is criminal to underserved communities?

    Are we ‘Columbus’ing engagement that ethnic media, embedded in communities, have been practicing all along?

    “Community journalists, civic journalists, rural journalists, journalists of color etc. have been doing this work for a really long time, unacknowledged and unfunded. Now that this kind of work has caught the attention of schools, industry, funders, there is a movement around it that doesn’t include or acknowledge those people. The gentrification of community centered journalism.”

    Let’s be honest about what we mean by community.

    “Are we using “community” as an excuse to pretend that we talked to a whole population of people.  If 10 people show up, do we assume that that’s the people?”

    “The word community makes me uncomfortable.  Communities don’t want to be communities. They want to be fractured, tribal and segregated. So what are communities exactly?  There is an ideal, but it does not reflect reality.”

    Should we focus on changing the institutions that do have power and resources and that aren’t disappearing or should we just say screw ‘em, we’re going to innovate outside those institutions because those institutions have never served people of color?  Or both?

    Can media organizations embrace the idea of letting communities know we love them?

    Can we collaborate and not just compete?

    How do we reflect the values of the community but also refuse to normalize hate speech?

    How can media stop obsessing about the married middle class and missing 100,000,000 low-income people?

    We still need to define the journalism baby that’s in the bathwater. Don’t throw it all out.

    J is about service not sales

    The role of J is still to contribute to a healthy democracy

    Engagement has been around for a long time. It’s sexy now. But we didn’t invent it.

    Some of the large media institutions are providing valuable information that our cities need, such as that there is lead in drinking water in schools. And they are here and we can work with them.

    “We don’t have to actually reinvent the wheel, we just have to remember where some of our foundations lie. We are public servants. That is our job, serving our communities.”

    “We are essentially activists, people who give a shit, who serve the community and the way we do that should be responsible.”

     

    Additions:

    how engaged journalism can help communities thrive. More specifically, how could we take listening, connection, and trust to the next level?

     
  • JTM 4:10 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Saturday: Pro Action Cafe Sessions 

    On Saturday afternoon, people came forward to host sessions on initiatives they wanted to move to action. Their topics are listed here. A transcript of the a one word “summary” and the first next step from the session hosts are below. See video of session.  Wrap up starts at hour:min:sec 2:02:25

    • Professional publication for journalists – Keegan Clements-Housser
    • Engaging Community through Op Eds – Laura Gunderson
    • Terraforming communities – Michelle Ferrier
    • Matching citizen and community journalists with newsrooms – Amber Rivera
    • Community led public media events – Alicia Montgomery
    • Community information districts – Simon Galperin
    • Assessing the relationship between availability of high speed internet in poor neighborhoods to student achievement – Tom Bray
    • Telling Stories of artists of color in Portland- Amy Wang
    • Hosting Engagement Workshops – Lisa Heyamoto
    • Engagement in areas hurt by journalists – Ivan
    • The bellwether: How can we use Groundsource to move from public opinion polling to public opinion storytelling – Ben DeJarnette
    • Engagement beyond clicks – Yu Vongkiatkajorn
    • Staffing and hiring for an engaged newsroom – Joe Barr
    • A newsroom pitch deck for engagement-Jackie Hai
    • Igniting Positive Ocean Stories – Mitsue Cook
    • Changing political debate to dialogue – Linda Ellinor
    • News bot launch campaigns – Khari Johnson
    • Sustainable engagement practices for 20,000k circulation newspaper – Bill Densmore
    • International Engagers Network (a.k.a. International Weavers Network) – Cornelia Reichel
    • Third Party Ombudsman  – Kristin Gustaff

    Plus: Bonus pep talk from Fiona Morgan

    PROACTION CAFÉ WRAP-UP TRANSCRIPT

     

    Professional publication for journalists – Keegan Clements-Housser

    How do I build a tablet/online publication that incorporates participatory and citizen journalism while maintaining professional standards?

    Word: Pragmatism

    Next steps: Lots and lots and lots of original research

     

    Engaging Community through Op Eds – Laura Gunderson

    Make a better community-driven editorial section at The Oregonian

    Word: Knowledge

    Next steps: I need to describe what the editorial board does and what the opinion section is and then get out and talk to people about why I want them there.

     

    Terraforming communities – Michelle Ferrier

    Applying a gardening mindset to creating thriving communities

    Word: Fertilizer

    Next steps: I’ve got to cook something, so concrete step is to partner with a colleague who is teaching a food journalism course and beyond writing about food, invite students in the course to think through this concept with me.

     

    Matching citizen and community journalists with newsrooms – Amber Rivera

    Connecting citizen or community journalists in Colorado with news outlets to build capacity and elevate their work.

    Word: Validated, I’m really stuck my neck out and you were so generous to share your thoughts with me.

    Next steps: Research with City Bureau, they do this really well, and connect with the J school locally.

     

    Community led public media events – Alicia Montgomery

    How do we get a broader range of people aware, interest and involved

    Word: Partnerships.

    Next steps: Partnerships with other institutions that are interested in convening conversations, and with community leaders and stakeholders so they are invested in our events and in getting people who are more reflective of our community there and so we can be giving something to organizations that already serve the community so they can let folks know that we are in that business too.

     

    Community information districts – Simon Galperin

    Word: Collaborative imagination

    Next steps: Build a timeline and figure out how to identify communities to build this project.

     

    Assessing the relationship between availability of high speed internet in poor neighborhoods to student achievement – Tom Bray

    Word: Yay!

    Next steps: Action plan. I got a bajillion good suggestions of people and program to connect with and we are meeting with our partners in the project this week.

     

    Telling Stories of artists of color in Portland- Amy Wang

    Word: Conversations

    Next steps: Have lots of conversations.

     

    Hosting Engagement Workshops – Lisa Heyamoto

    Hosting community engagement workshops like this across the country to investigate what drives and disrupts trust in Journalism

    Word: Evolution

    Next steps: This project has evolved from the original idea through these conversations we have had. Next step is to ask not what is it about, but who is it for.

     

    Engagement in areas hurt by journalists – Iván Román

    Implement and model the beginnings of engagement with a community long aggrieved and hurt by journalism to lead to fostering a meaningful relationship and change in coverage

    Words: Truth. Willingness?

    Next steps: Continue exploring who would be in the room, how to select who’s in the room, how to frame the question, and how to have the right people in the room to actually have open discussions that could be difficult, but are needed to establish meaningful relationships.

     

    The bellwether: How can we use Groundsource to move from public opinion polling to public opinion storytelling – Ben DeJarnette

    Word: Pivot, from partnerships built around media organizations to one built around civic organizations with media outlets providing capacity

    Next steps: Finish writing up the grant proposal.

     

    Engagement beyond clicks – Yu Vongkiatkajorn

    How can I lay the groundwork for meaningful community engagement in a national newsroom that currently only sees engagement as social media clicks.

    Word: Thankful

    Next steps: Identify a project and start and lead by example and make sure I offer ways to help other reports do the something similar.

     

    Staffing and hiring for an engaged newsroom – Joe Barr

    Word: Listen because that’s where it all starts and what it’s all about, giving reporters the tools and mechanisms to listen to communities. I am coming away with so much fantastic information many great ideas.

    Next steps: We’re hiring six new positions in the next six months and I want to take some of these concepts that we talked about and put them into the hiring process, the kinds of people we are looking for and how we are hiring. [cheers from the crowd!]

     

    A newsroom pitch deck for engagement-Jackie Hai

    Shifting engagement to the beginning of the process rather than an after thought at the end.

    Word: Process shift

    Next steps: I have everything I need to put together this pitch deck so I’m going to make it and then share it with anyone who is interested.

     

    Igniting Positive Ocean Stories – Mitsue Cook

    My project has shifted a little bit by way of journalism, to invite people to share their affinity for the ocean and move them to action.

    Word: Mana’o: to share from your soul, from your fire in your belly.

    Next steps: It’s about my connection with Pele, the goddess of fire.  Mana’o exists in this room, everyone has one.

     

    Changing political debate to dialogue – Linda Ellinor

    Changing our political debate culture to a dialogic one through recorded zoom video conversations on topics of social importance.

    Word: Evolving our political discourse

    Next steps: Informational interviews with people who might be interested to get their ideas before I start experimenting, and also read What’s the Matter with Kansas.

     

    News bot launch campaigns – Khari Johnson

    Helps media entrepreneurs launch funding campaigns.

    Word: Gravy. Got a lot of good additions today.

    Next steps: Short survey with one fill in question and add some of the features that were suggested today to the bot.

     

    Sustainable engagement practices for 20,000k circulation newspaper – Bill Densmore

    Learn how to embed tools and figure out sustainable practices of engagement for a 20K circulation daily in rural MA.

    Word: Viewpoint.  The newsroom has to forget it’s POV and appreciate the POV of the communities it serves.

    Next steps: Takeaway is an amazing one hour podcast that I learned about that I am going to present to the editor and newsroom personnel.

     

    International Engagers Network (a.k.a. International Weavers Network) – Cornelia Reichel

    Word: Journeying together and finding solutions

    Next steps: Continuing the learning exchange I had with my wonderful coaches. And by having workshop with Agora in autumn.

     

    Third Party Ombudsman  – Kristin Gustaff

    Mine morphed and changed too. It was initially based on an idea that Stephen Silha’s father had done with the national news councils and there were a couple of state news councils, that act as intermediary between journalism and the public. I had done a similar thing when the environmental industry was getting really sketchy in the 90s.  [Back then] what I was hearing was that it won’t work, it’s not necessary and there are already places that exist and a lot more of is based on consumer education and consumer media literacy. So speaking as a consumer and one of what could be considered a higher educated demographic, I would say the need is vast. My constituents that I hang out with are not the type that just distrust good journalism. We are the ones that want you guys to go digging, but there’s so much out there and so much journalism has been threaded with the opinion that we don’t know what to believe and we don’t have time to go out and seek the good stuff and I see good citizen journalists out there and I see horrible ones so maybe this needs to be a grassroots effort by the public to round up all the existing organizations that you guys already have that we don’t even know about, that you guys know about and be more of a  connecting source.

    Word: (didn’t give one)

    Next steps: I love the idea of going to the journalism schools and starting right there to show what consumers need, and understanding the standards that you have, and why they are so important and also giving awards for the best, and worst that are out there, whether you are a blogger whether you are the New York Times. And issues that we see on a daily basis from the consumers standpoint.

     

    Bonus pep talk: Fiona

    You can also take away the dialogic practices that you learned at this conference. How many of you feel like you could do a World Cafe or a Proaction Cafe or any of these other exercises that we’ve done? [lot’s of hands up] All of you could, and you will not be alone.  You can ask any of us. And there are lots of resources, so there are people who will support you and who have your back.

     
  • Ashley Alvarado 6:57 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Elevate Engagement: The Graphic Recording 

    #PDXengage17 as seen through the eyes of graphic recorder Nitya Wakhlu (with some help from Taylyn Harmon).

     
  • Ashley Alvarado 1:33 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How might newsrooms/journalists have ongoing conversations and engagement with communities independent of story projects? What resources might be needed? 

    Question proposer: Subbu Vincent

    Citations: Courtney Breese (NCDD), Linda Miller (APM), Michelle Levander (USC), Amy Wang (Oregonian), Jeremy Hay (Spaceship Media), Eva Perlman (Spaceship Media), Alicia Montgomery (WAMU 88.5), Jackie Hai (KJZZ), Linda Shaw (Seattle Times), Subbu Vincent (Trust Project, SCU)

    (Courtney Breese took notes)

    Recognising that even within news organisations there are people who are not reporting but who have capacities and opportunities to engage (other employees)

    Movement towards this on the business side. Engagement which requires sustained conversation is a challenge to legacy media. Moving in that direction may require union conversations about appoprriateness
    How do you define engagement in your org? May need to re-articulate
    Challenge of staff buy-in. Some gravitate to this.
    Amy Wang (Oregonian)
    In some news orgs departments have been consolidated. Sales and marketing would say they engage, we even get stories from them. Working closely today with marketing. They want good relationships with the community. So they can be a partner in community engagement.
    At Oregonian we did a reporting project called The Big Idea on state budget priorities. Marketing helped organise the event.

    Cultural barriers and disruption. There is shift in seeing newsrooms’ role as convenor in the community versus just outreach to help identify stories. If you have limited capacity, you have to look at new ways to play your role.

    It’s more a collaborative world now. Editors may not have attended community events before and now you should
    There is appreciation from the community for showing up
    Michelle Levander brought up Martin Reynolds’ example from the East Bay Times/Bay Area News Group from earlier. Reporters setup office hours in cafes as open engagement opportunities. Others have done similar things to bring events to the community
    Creating a culture of engagement leads to new and innovative ways of connecting with the community
    Reciprocity that happens between non-profits all the time can be used by newsrooms too
    At KJZZ we had a uphill battle. News and development are on different planets.
    There are silos within the news building itself. You don’t even know necessarily who everyone is.
    Conversations are needed WITHIN newsrooms about these topics too
    Early use of PIN (Linda Miller) – it was not just stories but we asked people what kept them up at night. Tools can be used to shift culture, create communities, connections. They are ways to create extensions of the newsroom.

    Spaceship Media brings people in conflict together via Facebook group and inform them via journalism. Create stories about what arises in conversations. Conversation continues – they stay in touch, offer updates etc. They sometimes come back to the reporter. They are interesting to continuing to talk and learn. (Jeremy and Eve)

    Engaging communities is going on different topics. Partnerships are key.
    Who are the orgs/institutions to bring the right people into the room. A room of people that really represent the community.
    E.g. health. A community health center can help.
    At NCDD (National Council for Deliberation and Dialogue) we find public libraries are great places for conversation.
    Libraries have their ears to the ground and are attuned.
    (Courtney Breese, MD of NCDD, CA)

    Newsrooms must (re)embrace role as convenors
    Get staff training on how to host conversations
    Partner with organisations and be flexible to their needs
    Not everything should focus on content – think about role differently

    What about online spaces? A lot of the conversation so far has been about physical interventions, events.
    Seems like many of these efforts follow a similar nature. Intimate safe environment for citizens
    There is a method to it, not just throwing people together.
    There is an intentionality to the prompts and plans. It’s based on modelling good engagement, behaviour, etc.
    (Jeremy – our dialogue fostering was done as a journalistic endeavour)

    Conversation does not have to be ongoing between newsrooms and communities in the sense of everyday. It will ebb and flow. (Linda Miller)
    Yes, I did not mean ‘ongoing’ in an everyday sense. I meant breaking engagement out of the ‘project’ silos. (Subbu)

    On Resources

    There is a desire to do this, but newsroom folks are not being given more time to do it.
    It becomes an add-on and hard-sell.
    Management buy in is critical.

     
  • Ashley Alvarado 6:17 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How do newsrooms measure loyalty? 

    Participants:
    Simon Galperin
    Kyle Bozentko
    Todd Milbourn
    Dahlia Bazzaz

    Notes

    TL;DR >> Measuring loyalty beyond the usual analytics (clicks, return users, etc) is a challenge, and something many newsrooms are still figuring out. But it’s an important metric to prove the *value* of community engagement projects.
    In order to measure loyalty, you first need to define what they means for our newsroom
    What does loyalty mean? What makes a reader loyal?
    Familiar faces
    Relationships with those faces
    Examples: local public radio stations, broadcast news anchors
    Once you’ve done that, some approaches include:
    Measure how we interact with the user
    Think of this like a personal engagement Fitbit to track how your touch ripples out
    Live events created repeated exposure
    CIR’s open source impact tracker
    Helps track engagement that is hard to quantify otherwise
    Allows reporters to do this on their own, which is both efficient and also gets instances that other people might miss
    Chartbeat’s impact tracker
    How do you track loyalty for newsroom on a national level?
    Break down communities to local levels
    Focuses on specific policies under broader topics

     
  • Bill Densmore 12:42 pm on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    PHOTOS: Seven projects 

    Seven people in total agree to do action follow-ups. A recording of the discussions does not exist because Bill Densmore accidentally erased it rather than saving it. We’ll fill in the details and provide links shortly.

    1. Ben DeJarnette: I commit to be a major convenor on Gather, working with other people
    2. Ashley Alvarado: I would like to bring Open Space inside newsrooms so we can have some of these conversations there.
    3. Keegan Clements-Housser: I’m going to commit to tracking efforts about community engagement among this group and share results
    4. Simon Nyi: I commit to convene this community in real life again to build on the things we’ve discussed here.
    5. Summer Fields: I want to hire you guys and or the really on fire people in your life who care about community engagement.   At Hearken.
    6. Andrew Rockway: I want to create a short adaptable guide for journalists so they can design and facilitate community conversations in their own communities.
    7. Michelle Holmes: I’m offering to serve as a personal connector and introducer between people with new ideas and news organizations across America.

    Hearken

    Ashley Alvarado

    Gather

     
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