HARVEST SESSION: Initial raw unedited notes of comments at the end of Thursday evening

Here are Bill Densmore’s rapid notes of tonight’s “Harvest Session” at Elevate Engagement in Portland.  These notes will be updated later this evening from listening to audio of the session.



Collaborative not competitive on funding and other things.

Hechinger Report: Not my idea, but find a way to convinced Craig of Craig’s List to create an endowment for journalism. That would blow my mind.

Simon Gelpern from NJ: What would blow my mind is a buyin on a project I’m working on called Community Information Districts. Fund schools, fire departments, for journalism. To enable this project to live in communities. Infodistricts.org

Phil Eisenbach: Community activist in Eugene Oregon. Ask every journalist to think about how you could reduce the level of homelessness in your community.

Jessica Maria Ross: IF at somepoint in this event we engaged all by dancing.

Mike Fancher: My mind has already been blown and my heart has been opened. I wanted to hear from young people who want to be inspired to be journalists as I have through my career, and I sit down with two such paper and OK then.

Andrew: A lot of expertise already in the room. 30 minutes to catalyze more conversation. Six individuals focusing on six projects.

Michelle Holmes, VP content Alabama Media

Outlier Media: Journalism for low income.
Therere are huge information gaps in many of the palces that we live and work. Look up James Hamilton’s work. AN information gap is where accountability goes to die and as journalists we can’t stand by and watch that happen, but we are. We are missing people.

She used to work in public radio. Journalism is edited for the middle class – “Mary” is the euphemism. Her mother has more information than she news what to do with. At the same time there are Mary’s drowing in news, they are low income Americans.

We won’t talk about whether these people can and will pay for information. But they can and they will. Let’s figure out what they are interested in and care about. Information gap is around rentals. Tenants don’t have a good way to quality check on landlords. It’s about accountability.

Focus on engagement, not sales. She buy lists of cell phone numbers for Detroit and texts them to see if they want to get involved. You can feed all parts of the news beast with this model.

Feedback: 25% want more information; more than half said it was helpful to them. What do the other 24% want?

Adriana Galardo, ProPublica. She is from Chicago.

Engagement is Journalism. Engagement there are three tables:

n who are the people at the center of this investigation
n what do they care about
n how have they been harmed

They did a piece on maternal help.

Looked quickly for names, causes and places. NO place to go to see what these people care about. Even big mommie blogs weren’t talking about maternal death. They found that GoFundMe was a source – people were asking for help.

Have collected 450 names from 2011; 120 from 2016. Trying to figure out as many names as possible from 2016.

What happen to you or someone you know as a result of childbirth.

maternal@propublica.org — in a call out heard from 2,500 cases in the first week. Now 3,100. Falling short on reaching women of color. Not doing a good job reaching women of color, but black women are 3-4x more like to die than white women.

Brings together reporting, community, video.

Talk to me about embedding the form, it is super easy to embed.
(Find out more about the mother who died 20 hours after the video was shot)

Shannon McGregor, Engaging News Project. At UT.

How can news organizations use comments to build and foster relationships tht goes behyond being transactional. She is PhD candidate in school of journalism. Seeking researched based technics for engaging digital audiences.

Commenting is a process most people have engaged in. But of people who read news online, half of them aren’t commenting or paying attention to comments. Maybe they aren’t getting the kind of relationships they want when they go on.

They partnered with Corel and surveyed 10,000 of their readers. 70% or more of commentators wanted more relationship with journalists in the comments sections. Readers want to build relationships, but so do journalists. Dina Chen did the work, she is at UT. They found this made for better journalism. Readers and journalists want these relationships, how do we do this well. What are some ideas?

One idea tested with a local news station. Rsult: reduced incivility, increased provision of evidence. Most important, best practices, for when journalists reply and create relationships. Ask questions, provide more information, etc.

Cameron Whitten, Know your Ciy and Portland’s Resistance

Citizen journalism in Portland. Heart of trump resistance.

Data expensive – using 100gb a month. Raised $4,000 from crowdsourcing.

Streams of Resistence LLC he founded.

Focused on mobile form of engagement because that’s where people are.

Ashley Alvarado, Public Engagement Manager, KPCC
Southern California Public Radio
Unheard LA

Three live shows completely community driven.

I don’t know how many times you’re going to work and your crying with joy.
Listening as a superpower.

We have people to lunch and we find out there are unheard and untold stories.
Met more than 400 people inviting them to lunch.
Public Insight Network has relationship with thousands of people.

Were in Whitier, downtown LA and Hollywood.

We had people sign up to become PIN Pals.

Fiona Morgan of Free Press fights to preserve the open Internet and journalism.

What does it look like when communication supports communities to thrive?

She talks about the World Café process.

There will be three questions, 15 minutes to answer each question and we’ll give you a two minute warning.

1) What excites you about what you heard tonigh from our ligtening presenters.


I live the idea of reaching beyhond our borders to regular people: “We want to speak too.”

I was talking to Simon here. This guy is so smart and cool. If reporters comment on all their articles, there is not enough time to have conversations like that. Simon says he became aware of called Opinary. Throughout an article you are reading you can engage on an issue. After you answer it it will show whever everybody else lies and if you are in the median. How other people are feeling.

Linda Miller: What happens if the community needs something that isn’t a story, isn’t content. Maybe we aren’t in the media business if we are about meeting community needs.

Ivan Regovin: A comment thread at all three tables was asking the question: What does engagement mean to us? He examples seemed like a continuum of why we want to enage.

Michelle Ferrier: What exited me was moving generalists out of the center and thinking about how others in the community are engaging. That is important because it advances ournalism and democracy. The connection we are trying to create is not about collecting new quotes for a story that we didn’t talk to before, but hwo e can help a community develop a collective vision.

Anander: I was sparked by this: WE have assumptions about how communities exist and what they are. How can engagement create new thinking about what communities are and how they exist – particularly in low-income or rural areas – to build new communities.

Bob: I’m an outlier, not a journalist. From the nonjournalist caucus. I couldn’t use the word exciting but I would use the world thoutghful. Journalism is now about personal stepping in, showing up and about engaging. HE sued to do “facilitation” but stopped using that word 15 years. Facilitators tend to stand outside and not being involved. He now wants to step in, be personal, e present. Intresting to see the parallels.

Elaine: Thinking about not knowing what engagement is. It has to do with starting with ambiguity and moving to clarity. I’ll leave that there. And also how platform can be aplace where you start but you move somewhere different. Those are two things that were present in some other conversations.

Keegan: One thing that threaded through my three tables – you hear about journalism changing and is fundamentally different, but we don’t have to actually reinvent the wheel, we just have to remember where some of our foundations lie. We are not kins, we are public servants. That is our job, serving our communities . . . many things are changing but we are still about serving communities.

Peggy closes us out for the evening.