Topic: How should newsrooms communicate their values and how do you engage communities that might have different value systems?

Link to Google doc:

Participants: Cole Goins Heather Bryant, Jesikah Marie Ross, Annie Anderson, Burgess Brown, August Frank, Keegan Clements-Housser, Ivan Roman, Paloma Dallas, Rodney Gibbs, Paul Waters, Lillian Mongeau, Kristin Gustaff, Joy Mayer, Joe Barr, Karl Eysenbach, Emily Olsen

Conversation overview: This session focused on how newsrooms should discuss and be inclusive of their own internal values, how they should communicate those values more publicly, and how they should approach engaging communities that may have different value systems.

Individual points and ideas:
Newsrooms don’t talk about our own values and biases, we often pretend that they don’t exist
Our group talked a lot about the tension and value of a reporter’s role in their own community.
“Gray areas” of community-based reporting and the relationships you have in your own neighborhood. What’s meant for the news and what’s not?
You can’t be fully objective about your own community.
Project-based models can help challenge assumptions and values. Think about using discrete projects as experiments that can help inform greater newsroom processes and culture.
We need to think about breaking through the “journo speak” that our audiences and communities may not understand.
For communities or individuals with different values, it can be powerful to seek common ground, rather than differences.
Show, rather than tell, your values.
The Power of Showing Up: Building trust by being present and communicating who you are as a person.
There’s a distinction between “beliefs” and “values.”
We spent time talking about the possibilities and politics of creating “community advisory boards” for stories, communities and projects to be inclusive and respectful of ideas, perspectives and values
How to structure CABs in ways that lend direct feedback on story framing and approaches?
They can work well for projects and mid-size newsrooms, but are harder to scale for statewide and national newsrooms

Questions we asked:

How can we be transparent in our values? Both as individual journalists and as newsrooms?
Being transparent with sources and communities about your motives helps build trust and expectations for the relationship.
How can we design systems that let us get input from communities on story framing, language we use, questions to ask, etc.?
How could we approach political affiliation as a form of diversity in our newsrooms and organizations?
Geography and location deeply affects your values. How can newsrooms better connect and increase representation of outside communities?
How can we outsource / incorporate outside expertise?
How can we create a culture of inclusiveness in our own newsrooms? Better listening to the experiences, insights and values of the people across our organizations.
How can we create internal “gut checks” on our stories, framing and the language we use?
How can we respond to broken promises? Articulate the process for response if we violate our values or trust.
How do you engage with people who hold deep-seated beliefs based on false facts?
Listening as a form of understanding
Ask: why do you hold that perspective, and ask about the experiences that have informed those perspectives, rather than just asking their opinion.
Get to the root of the ideology, not the mechanics of it.
There’s a balance to consider when elevating different views, especially ones that may be rooted in hate. Ex: Richard Spencer and white supremacists