Activities at JTM

At intersection of journalism and public engagement

While Michelle Ferrier, Journalism That Matters board president, and I were at the National Conference for Dialogue and Deliberation, we recorded a conversation on how we see the intersection of

While at last October’s National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation conference (NCDD), Michelle Ferrier and I recorded a conversation between us on the intersection of journalism and public engagement. Thought some of you might find it of interest:

Activities at JTM, JTM News

Update: Community Connection and Inclusion

Since its announcement last December, the ASNE and Journalism That Matters partnership for engaging diverse communities in meeting their news and information needs has identified three pilot sites and begun building an interactive platform for supporting news organizations in doing high-quality community engagement.

As a reminder, this effort offers new ideas and strategies to meet ASNE’s longstanding commitment to diversity in newsrooms by enhancing a newsroom’s capacity to accurately reflect and authentically cover the communities they serve. Based on experiences to date, we also see it as a strategy for building audience.

Key components of the project:

  1. Conducting “proof of concept” community-based conversations about the news and information needs of diverse communities.
  2. Developing an “Engagement Hub” for sharing stories and resources, connecting with others, and developing skills for engaging community.
  3. Offering an interactive program that mirrors some of the community engagement strategies at the joint ASNE/APME 2014 convention.

The “proof of concept” community partners are:

We Create Here – The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Unite Rochester – Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York

Oakland Voices – The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California

Each of our local partners is engaging its community on topics related to diversity and inclusion. For example, The Gazette is pursuing a topic ripe in their community: workforce diversity. They recently hosted a conversation with people from community organizations with an interest in the subject, posting Six ways to improve relations between residents in Iowa communities. The success of the conversation is opening the door to an experiment in sourcing. As they begin work on a story on affordable housing, they intend to host a conversation with a group of the people who “ARE IN” – with Authority, Resources, Expertise, Information, and Need. Listening to these public perspectives will inform their coverage.

The Engagement Hub is in development.

While community conversations progress at partner sites, so does platform development. Technologies have been selected. Because of its community orientation, NationBuilder was chosen as the CMS. We are working with a developer to create an innovative, interactive approach to sharing information. A first version of the site will targeted to be available by the end of April.

Conference program discussions are underway.

Initiative leaders are in conversation with convention planners to define an engaging and productive session for conference attendees.

The initiative leaders are:

  • ASNE Diversity Committee co-chairs:
  • Karen Magnuson, editor and VP/News, Democrat and Chronicle Media Group, Rochester, NY.
  • Manny Garcia, editor, Naples Daily News, Florida.
  • Mike Fancher, interim director of the University of Oregon Center for Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement and Journalism That Matters board member, Seattle, WA.

JTM leader:

  • Peggy Holman, Journalism That Matters co-founder and executive director, Bellevue, WA.

For information contact:

Mike Fancher, 206-683-5492,

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JTM announces new executive director

Journalism that Matters is excited to announce that Peggy Holman, a JTM co-founder and long-time board member is now serving as the organization’s Executive Director.

In 2001, Holman joined three career journalists in founding Journalism that Matters to support the pioneers who are shaping the emerging news and information ecology.

In her new role, Holman will oversee JTM’s growth as the organization matures beyond event production and expands into a hub for supporting journalism innovation and community engagement. Said Holman:

“I see an opportunity for us to fill a vital niche by connecting people who are reinventing ways in which the public’s voice enters into news and information. News organizations that are forging new ground around engagement often find themselves alone in the wilderness. We want to provide a place for them to benefit from each other’s work.”

Holman will continue to oversee the Illuminations Project, an initiative shining a light on what’s working in the changing news landscape, that JTM has produced since last year. She is also leading development of the Engagement Hub initiative, a collaborative endeavor to create a peer-based community of practice for sharing resources, connecting people, and growing understanding and skills for journalism that engages communities. Both projects were made possible by a generous grant from the Mott Foundation.

An author and consultant based out of the Seattle area, Holman brings to her new role her experience with engaging organizations and communities in discovering creative solutions to complex issues.

In the second edition of The Change Handbook, she joined with her co-authors to profile sixty-one engagement processes.  Her award-winning bookEngaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity, dives beneath these methods to make visible deeper patterns, principles, and practices for engagement that can guide us through turbulent times.

Journalism That Matters is a nonprofit that convenes conversations to foster collaboration, innovation, and action so that a diverse news and information ecosystem helps communities to thrive. A core belief: journalism matters most when it is of, by, and for the people. Best known for convening unconferences, JTM has a proven track record catalyzing disruptive innovation and fostering new collaborations within the news industry.


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Happy Holidays from JTM

5496986637_a9912a27ba_n.jpgIt’s hard to believe that 2013 is almost over. This year has been an exciting one for Journalism that Matters, and I just wanted to take a moment to share with you all of the work we’ve been doing.

In April, JTM hosted its 19th gathering at the University of Denver’s Estlow Center. Reporters, students, educators and others attended Journalism is Dead, Long Live Journalism, which was held in conjunction with the semi-annual National Conference For Media Reform.

Shortly after that gathering, JTM hired Josh Wolf to lead the Illumination’s Project and serve as Editor-at-large. Since taking the position, Wolf has published a weekly column about what’s working in journalism and also now curates our e-mail newsletter highlighting news from the world of journalism innovation.

Each edition of the newsletter is packed with great links to interesting stories and opportunities for jobs and grants. Please consider subscribing to the newsletter or joining our Google Group where you can also participate in JTM discussions as well.

In 2014 JTM plans to expand on the work we’ve already started, but we’ll need your help.

Journalism that Matters has partnered with the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) to launch a new initiative to help its member organizations engage diverse communities that they have struggled to reach in the past. At the same time we will be developing a similar project to benefit those outside of ASNE.

Thanks to our ongoing support from the Mott Foundation, we plan to pioneer a learning experience that supports participating sites with hands-on engagement among community and a mix of media partners. This collaborative venture will do some capacity building for engaging diverse community and provide ongoing support among a network of news organizations who are connecting with their community. The goal: to increase the know-how and effectiveness of communities in meeting their news and information needs.

In the next few months Journalism that Matters will also be developing new web forums, hiring additional correspondents to report on what’s working in journalism. And we are now developing our first online unconference.

This the first year that we’ve operated as a 501(c)3 organization and not only has our new-found status allowed us to secure the Mott grant that is underwriting the Illuminations Project, but it also allows you to make a tax-deductible donation to us.

For every 35 people who are able to make a $50 contribution to Journalism that Matters we will be able to hire one additional correspondent to share a story each month about what’s working in their community.

Can you help us with a one-time tax-deductible gift before the end of the 2013 calendar year?

We understand if you can’t afford to make a donation at this time, but please help our mission by sharing our links on your social networks.

Happy Holidays!

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Exciting new partnership to engage diverse communities

Journalism that Matters has partnered with the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) to launch a new initiative to help its member organizations engage diverse communities that they have struggled to reach in the past. header_logo.png

The project grew out of the ASNE Diversity Committee and the organization’s 2012 report, “The Future of Diversity in the News.”

“Diversity must go beyond being a goal. It must become an act,” said the report. “It will require a more strategic approach to identifying and then serving diverse audiences. New technological communication tools must be employed. More sophisticated distribution channels will be essential.”

The key components of this innovative effort:

1. ASNE and JTM will conduct a series of “proof of concept” community-based conversations about the news and information needs of diverse communities. These conversations will involve collaboration with community partners, as well as journalism schools and other journalism organizations.

2. Insights and practical takeaways from the community-based conversations, including templates or models for conducting future conversations in other communities, will be available in the online learning hub. The hub will also support an ongoing exchange among participants for shared learning across sites, answering such questions as why do it? And how do we get started?

3. Progress to date will be shared through an interactive program that mirrors some of the community engagement strategies at the joint ASNE/APME 2014 convention. The programs will also be offered for conventions of other journalism organizations. The purpose of the interactive programs is to inspire attendees to launch their own community-based conversations and participate in the learning hub to report their progress and learn from others.

We’ll have more information about this project in the coming year, but if you have a community you’d like to suggest for the “proof of concepts” or would like to get involved in any way, please contact JTM Board Member and ASNE Diversity Committee Co-Chair Mike Fancher.