Updates from Ashley Alvarado Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

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

    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  

    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  

    How do newsrooms measure loyalty? 

    Simon Galperin
    Kyle Bozentko
    Todd Milbourn
    Dahlia Bazzaz


    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

  • Ashley Alvarado 10:46 am on May 23, 2017 Permalink  

    How can journalists be invited to cover positive stories about ocean issues? MITSUE COOK 

    How can journalists be invited to cover positive stories about ocean issues? MITSUE COOK

    Christine Whitney Sanchez Bruno Kauffman
    LIsa Loving
    Tova Averbuch

    What are the positive things that are happening? What can I do?
    NY Times- snowfall about the Arctic It may not be too late
    Do an inventory of who is covering the ocean and create a relationship with the people who are reporting.
    The story of the ocean is the story of people.
    Homeowners Cleaning the beach
    Nuclear decisions – compare Japan and Sweden. (Democracy in Japan and Sweden)
    Water in different forms- flowing, interconnecting, recycling
    In Eastern Europe- It was rivers that brought the people to push back against their governments
    Connect the various water movements
    Environmental writers- you can elevate the stories
    Challenge to size down to key elements
    IN society, dialogue is the equivalent to water
    Open dialogue reduces mistrust of transnationals
    BOb Stilger wrote book about Fukushima
    VItze- activist protecting oceans
    Dutch youth took juveniles and outcasts and trained them to be law enforcers
    Maybe the attack (half conscious) on sweater is an attack on connection (Rather than in our own bubble)
    Oceans seen as space for industry and building cities- instrumentalized rather than living
    Social m edit campaign – Instagram
    Take photos of ocean with this hashtag Joining larger movement
    People are thirsty fo r you r message Existential threat of global warming
    Time is shorter than you think
    Make journalism Joe effective and creative Seriousness s, digestible policy education Provide straight reporting
    Connections between different rent activist communities
    Concentrate on local level Open people’s eyes
    Most journalists are living in limited l Evelyn and. Resources
    Local identities/ego grow as the negative focus grows (we are the best) Great journalists represent great ideas and point to collective action
    Changed mindset
    Focus on daily life. – quality of life
    What can you do on a daily basis to love H2O Practice journalism as if it’s The last day of you r life
    Maybe the attack (half conscious) on sweater is an attack on connection (Rather than in our own bubble)
    Oceans seen as space for industry and building cities- instrumentalized rather than living
    Social m edit campaign – Instagram
    Take photos of ocean with this hashtag Joining larger movement
    People are thirsty fo r you r message Existential threat of global warming
    Time is shorter than you think
    Make journalism Joe effective and creative Seriousness s, digestible policy education Provide straight reporting
    Connections between different rent activist communities
    Concentrate on local level Open people’s eyes
    Most journalists are living in limited l Evelyn and. Resources
    Local identities/ego grow as the negative focus grows (we are the best) Great journalists represent great ideas and point to collective action
    Changed mindset
    Focus on daily life. – quality of life
    What can you do on a daily basis to love H2O Practice journalism as if it’s The last day of you r life

  • Ashley Alvarado 6:36 am on May 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Socioeconomic Models & Community Information Districts 

    Icebreaker (favorite smell) (also attendees)
    Burgess – basil
    Prism – khaosoi
    Fiona – ginger
    Christine – lemon blossoms
    Andre – gardenia
    Michelle – honeysuckle
    Amber – lilac
    Stephen – corsican mint
    Keegan – petrocore
    Simon – eucalyptus
    Mike – lavender

    Topic notes

    Prism opening remark

    We see strife and destabilization of institutions, how does it relate to our economy? Let’s build better socioeconomic models.

    Simon opening remark

    What does journalism look like in a new socioeconomic model?

    Session discussion of info districts

    Use regional development organizations for (seed) funding
    Participatory budgeting
    Work with community foundations serving the disconnected
    Communicating with community is vital for a shared vision
    Construct info districts at zip code level for de-politicized boundaries
    Community foundations can convene the right people
    Funding: business taxes, engage community in in-kind donation
    What’s the org’s ascertainment structure?

    Question: how do we increase engagement in a system we design from the ground up?

    Employees have 10% of their time freed up for civic engagement
    Work in the community you live in
    Time (or lack thereof) is the key issue
    Making decisions only for communities you live in
    What systems could we create to mitigate the bullshit of intra-community politics
    Give people choices for how to engage
    Create the space for people to do what they love for the benefit of others

  • Ashley Alvarado 11:01 am on May 22, 2017 Permalink  

    Bringing Open Space | Engagement with, in newsrooms 

    Leads: Ashley & Lori

    Facilitating engagement within newsrooms to support and model engagement outside.

    + create slack channel
    + find Zoom channel
    + Share resources, research, and ID potential funding sources

    Who’s involved:
    Jackie Hai
    Bill Densmore
    Linda Miller
    August Frank
    Emily Olson
    Mike Green
    Alex Powers
    Joy Mayer
    Simon Nyi

  • Ashley Alvarado 5:44 pm on May 21, 2017 Permalink  

    Stories of What Is and Isn’t Working for Members of the Elevate Engagement Community 

    Leader: Keegan Clements-Housser
    Participants: Linda Ellinor

    Goal: Track and collate efforts by members of this community to implement community engagement techniques, so we as a community can assess what’s working, what’s not working, and why. I will gather info from interested community members and release a monthly synopsis of what the community has found, as well as link to any data provided (this will be posted in Gather). This will allow our members’ newsrooms and organizations across the globe to collaborate on developing new methods by sharing information. If you’re struggling with something that someone else has already figured out and vice versa, it’s better to share than to reinvent the wheel.


    1. Connect with members of the community interested in participating. This will be done via the FB group and Twitter. Deadline is end of May. (Keegan)

    2. Hold our first monthly check-in call. Format TBD, but likely a conference call or group chat of some variety. Input on format is welcome. Deadline is middle of June. (Linda and Keegan)

    3. Create first monthly synopsis and post to Gather, along with any associated data shared by participating community members. Deadline is the end of June. (Keegan)

  • Ashley Alvarado 9:25 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink  

    How do we help communities become active participants in the news, and establish a way to vet them so that any good work is legitimate in the eyes of editors/publishers/executives? 

    Session Hosts: Keegan Clements-Housser & Amber Rivera

    Karen Alvarado
    Alex Powers
    Cameron Whitten
    Emily Olson
    Bill Densmore
    Matt Gatie
    Khari Johnson
    Shawn Poynter
    Linda Jue
    Lauren Pabst

    “Citizen journalism is here to stay; we can’t put that genie back in the bottle.”

    Note: Throughout the session we used, interchangeably, the terms citizen journalism /community journalism/participatory journalism.

    Why are you here?
    • Collect wisdom on how we get the “pros” to recognize citizen journalists
    • How to hand the reins to community
    • The credentialing of citizen journalists

    • Some countries have a panel for credentialing citizen journalists. Why not in the U.S., when there’s evidence of the value of every citizen being a reporter in our founding documents?
    • Emergence of technology has changed the game…how might community journalists represent their biases in ways that are different than traditional journalists?
    • Ethical decisions are personal…so what kind of training do citizen journalists need in it?
    • “Participatory civic media” – a branch of focus for the MacArthur Foundation right now

    What are the strengths and weaknesses of professional journalism, and of community journalism? (* indicates an item that was listed as both a strength and a weakness)

    Professional journalism – Strengths
    • Consistency of approach
    • Set of ethical norms
    • An entity for a consumer to appeal to if he or she is aggrieved
    • Audience
    • Dogma of objectivity*
    • Compensation structures
    • Legal protection & an institution to back you as a journalist
    • Legitimacy & access in official spaces (asking for an interview with the Mayor, e.g.)
    • Resources
    • Network of colleagues

    Professional journalism – Weaknesses
    • Inflexible
    • Pressure from the ownership/financial ties/system/donors
    • Focused on the audience, and driven by that focus (direct or indirect)
    • Dogma of objectivity*
    • False equivalency/balance in the reporting

    Community journalism – Strengths
    • Direct feedback from consumers – no institutional buffer
    • Mission-driven. Specifically, social missions.
    • Not yet jaded. Or jaded so much that the individual has been moved to action.
    • Concerned about individual reputation in a community; personally accountable.
    • No potential for editorial divergence from reporters’ coverage
    • Lower barrier to entry*
    • Biases are more apparent
    • No deadlines, and no pressure to publish
    • Can access some people that professional journalists cannot
    • Editorial freedom (or, more flexible editorial structure)

    Community journalism – Weaknesses
    • Lower barrier to entry*
    • Coverage gets picked up without attribution
    • Exposure to risk
    • Lack of an editor
    • Invariable quality
    • Uphill battle to be taken seriously
    • Lack codified ethical framework
    • Reliance on corporate social media platforms and their algorithms

    How do we bridge these two areas of journalism? Ideas:
    • There’s potential for collaborating around a shared agenda
    • Always give attribution to citizen journalists if you use their work in your story
    • Professional journalists could act as curators of citizen journalists’ content…maybe.
    • Or, professional journalists could serve in the role of fact checker for the community journalist—only a fact checker/verification.
    • We need a code of collaboration. Note: The Media Consortium is working on this!
    • Poynter has been working on a code of conduct for citizen journalists
    • Share the facts (Duke University Reporters’ Lab) is working to automate an index for accuracy…could that concept also be applied to individuals for legitimacy? (“BBB for citizen journalists, those who consume their content, and those who publish their content)
    • Could establish community editors within news orgs whose only role is to build relationships with citizen journalists
    • How can journalists hand off stories once they themselves must move on, for community journalists to continue the story?

    Aside: Some emerging j-school trained journalists are unclear and anxious about how open they can be about their personal beliefs, in the current media/hiring ecosystem.

  • Ashley Alvarado 8:32 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink  

    Topic: What is the story of your father? 

    Host: Linda Miller, American Public Media

    Michelle Holmes
    Anthony Advincula
    Mike Green
    March Tisdale
    Simon Galperin
    Meredith Clark
    Karen Alvarado
    Kristin Gustaff
    Stephen Silha
    Karl Evesenbach
    Summer Fields

    We came. We listened. We shared. We cared.

  • Ashley Alvarado 8:29 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink  

    How can we use engagement and how are we using engagement methods to increase racial/ethnic diversity and diversity of viewpoints in the country’s journalism? 

    (Notes by Amy Wang; any errors/omissions are hers)
    (Ivan: I apologize, but I did not have time to summarize and organize these notes. Will do so after the conference as warranted.)
    Ivan Roman poses this question as as a journalist who has been in newsrooms and involved in pro-media diversity efforts since 1983 and, like so many others, have been frustrated by the lack of real change in news media. On the contrary, one could argue that in legacy media and in some other sectors in news media, we’re going in the wrong direction.
    Paul Waters poses a similar question in an effort to find out what community engagement methods are out there that can be successful and truly have an impact on diversity in media.
    NAHJ’s Parity Project, where community and newsroom editors and TV producers to convene to discuss stories and create advisory council. Success depended on editor commitment at each media outlet. Looking for more sustainable engagement regardless of commitment. Free Press: They actually convene and organize community and then organize newsroom and then bring them together. Then both sides getting buy-in? Organized community to think about what they wanted to see in media, educate them about value of participating/engaging with media.
    NAHJ project: For a long time, civil rights leaders and others had focused on economy, jobs, housing, voting rights but didn’t initially see importance of media and community representation there. How you’re represented in media determines power/influence you have. In parity project, you need community to actually have voice and work toward it. In Corpus Christi, TX, : already longstanding Latino community with leadership infrastructure, but Naples, FL, doesn’t have that – not organized.
    Perception from nonjournalist who’s watched journalists try to engage more diversity without much success: Why would they? If I’m a member of a community of color or low-income community that doesn’t trust media, why would I trust people seeking engagement? What we started doing is looking for intermediaries – who already has trust – then create partnerships, so the engagement is actually with other media. Chicago “On the Table” event: 15 community media outlets that work with different ethnic communities within Chicago to talk with each other about what they have in common and what they need. Also brought in national outlets to join conversation. The national outlets then had facilitated access. Could also be done with community partners like social services organizations. If direct access is a problem, go to people who are already there.
    Woman who works with a lot of young journalists and runs a nonprofit: Some view engagement as marketing in search of profit. Not seen as authentic but as window dressing. How can engagement be done authentically and who is doing it?
    Ivan: A lot of engagement in past was done through marketing and advertising, not through editorial. When I go back to engagement, I think about old shoe-leather reporting, like when he was an on-the-ground city reporter. Part of my job there was also educating the community on importance of engaging with journalists – taking the initiative to advocate for themselves. Is the barrier the fact that we don’t really cover them, which turns them off engagement? Do we need to be more proactive in terms of cultivating the community?
    Comment: This is happening because outlets don’t have beat reporters or their beats have been enlarged – example of a reporter who can’t even drive his beat every day but has to parachute in, take story without getting to know community, then move on. That’s why people don’t want to participate, and why should they?
    How do we fix that?
    Comment: Communities react to not being covered. I’m a first-generation immigrant whose father was deported by ICE. They did that less than a month before I graduated from a world-class university. They covered the people who destroyed my family with more care than they covered the families who were destroyed. We in some ways are trying to be very cordial about how angry and upset communities are. We end up having to create media to fill in that gap. Do we also consider things about safety, do we consider things about access, what happens when the parachuting creates long-held grudges?
    We commonly start from this idea that the data begins when the computers/archives begin or another arbitrary point – instead of the kind of data trail that you have to make as you apply for citizenship, for instance, or for public assistance. If I give you this data, what’s going to happen? Lives 30-minute drive from NYT, which cut its Metro coverage and has not covered raids in her community. Engaging and involving diversity is something we should do, but people because of historical power struggles who share those stories are putting themselves in danger.
    Comment: On coverage of deportations, how do you know they’re real? Data/evidence on who’s here not requested because that could endanger people and give ICE a reason to act. Limited options in engaging people around deportation. Have to trust information and get it as spelled out, or don’t get it at all. A lot of media outlets run by white people who can’t do certain kinds of engagement because they don’t understand issues, don’t have the trust, don’t have the connections.
    Ivan: We have to address the anger and the resentment and in some cases safety and protection issues to gain trust so they’ll engage.
    Comment: Would love to reimagine the process – safety, transparency, data, what we’re trying to build, who are the stakeholders. There’s something only journalists can do about putting together real documentation that is forceful and can be shared, but how do we make sure we can do that respectfully while keeping people safe?
    Comment: Brought community members together to explore heroin/opioid crisis in Ohio. At one event, reporters, editors from TV/radio/print came together with community (recovering addicts, community health nurse, law enforcement) to talk about past coverage. Journalists learned to see themselves as not just gathering data but actually causing damage in people’s lives. Several community members asked where was the coverage 25 years ago when black residents were coping with cocaine and its impact, and why is it different? How do partners tell the story and explain why this response is different? Hope is to learn how coverage can happen in a way that acknowledges the human element.
    Comment: Last night the word “empathy” was used a lot. There’s an empathy relationship between journalist and subject. But maybe empathy is not enough – need solidarity, too. You’re telling someone’s story in the context of the systematic forces that have shaped that story.
    Comment: Have to challenge the idea that people who have the same values want the same thing.
    Comment: Journalist who didn’t get respect from a colleague over concern about diverse representation at a discussion of media coverage. There’s not a recognition of an asymmetrical relationship. When someone reports on immigrants on a meatpacking plant, that relationship is not symmetrical – the reporter gets to go home. If journalists can’t even talk to each other with respect, how can we even expect to do the job?
    Conversation with mentor: Journalist of color started prefacing her comments because she felt she wasn’t being believed even by her colleagues.
    Ivan: We were told traditionally not to have solidarity with communities – that made us suspect in covering our communities. Maybe what we need to do is to state that it’s OK for journalism to have solidarity with that they’re covering, not just observing.
    Comment: There was always solidarity, an implicit solidarity of holding the middle class and social order intact. It was just, whose solidarity for what end? Important to recognize it was always there as we move from no solidarity to having solidarity. Now we have to use solidarity in a different way.
    Comment: Solidarity comes down to where you live as a journalist – are you in the community you cover, do you allow yourself to be part of it, or are you separated? When we institutionalized the profession, we separated ourselves from the people we were covering. Tough to put the genie back into the bottle.
    Comment: We still do that in so many ways we don’t recognize. When we frame the question, how do we use engagement – the “we” is journalists, when the “we” should be the community. Community should be at center with journalism as an important convening element. If we talk about building trust, we tend to be thinking about how do we get them to trust journalists instead of how do we build trust? It’s a huge paradigm shift.
    Comment: What sort of tools or practices have you seen in the field that seem to be working? One way: broaden out who you’re talking with, how to better involve ethnic media. Another way: convenings. The Coral Project: mobilizing comments sections.
    Ivan: The next step to that is, does that type of engagement lead to diversity? How do we use engagement to make journalism look and be different? Some communities seem more willing to engage with journalists now and others, we have a lot of work to do to gain trust. We’re dealing with different communities that are at different stages of trusting journalists and have to work differently with each one.
    Comment: It’s not so much about tools as it is about attitude and posture. What’s the step beyond intermediaries? Intermediaries and partners are not enough. What would a posture look like when we cared about something for more than 25 minutes? How about picking a topic and working on it for 6 months – that’s where relationships are created and a story is developed. If we’re not willing to make that commitment and step out of ourselves, we’re not going to change anything. Are we actually interested in change? What role does journalism play in allowing a community to reimagine itself and tell a different story?
    Comment: Hearing a sense of an extremely daunting task in conducting engagement. You don’t have to do this completely alone. Partners are available who do community engagement work with journalists, such as National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. There are people who want to help with engagement and know how to do it and can train journalists.
    Comment: There’s been so much emphasis on tools that we’ve forgotten how to just be a person and have a conversation. We’re used to being savior/gatekeeper; we need to be the concierge, connecting the dots.
    Comment: Also need to bring in artists, educators – we’re all in this together.
    Comment: Seattle panels co-sponsored by local media and community nonprofit: “Journalism So White.” Let’s talk about this. Frank discussions with journalists and anyone who wanted to show up – how can we change profession and how can we better cover communities.
    Comment: Engagement may not be at all what is useful to the community you’re trying to engage. Do we need some sort of truth and reconciliation commission for communities that have been damaged by media coverage?
    Comment: How do you take these well thought out steps for creating productive dialogue and distill them into something that works for journalists? Especially for journalists who have short attention spans.
    Comment: We’ve been doing issue specific guides for journalists. Came from recognition of acknowledgement that journalists had contributed to the way people talk about drug overdoses. How do they re-focus their coverage? Desire to support more constructive dialogue in communities while having a way to cover it at the same time. Can journalists be quasi-facilitative while maintaining a journalistic approach?
    Comment: Let’s not pretend we’re starting with a clean slate. All journalists responsible for coverage. Read Peter Block’s book, which includes question, How am I contributing to this problem that I’m complaining about? We’re all complicit in some way.
    Comment: Best engagement examples involve reconciliation and deep dialogue. I feel like there is a whole skill set that journalists need to be trained. If that’s the way forward on engagement, how do national news organizations use that? Also: Who’s paying for all that? This approach takes a lot of resources and time.
    Comment: Some of the issues here require a media outlet to do a mea culpa or a massive shift – a huge ask, to think something like that will happen anytime soon. Could newsrooms start engagement projects around specific reporting projects to open the door to engagement, to start building it slowly? It just feels more practical.
    Comment: Journalists say, I can’t imagine how this would work and be journalism; others say, you’re still stuck. Need examples to learn from.
    Comment: We are in such a pregnant moment. People are so ready to step into hospitable space and talk about what’s true and important.
    Comment: You don’t have to be distant when you’re writing stories or doing projects; you can build relationships and follow up after a story and say that you care. Before he learned about community engagement, he was doing a project on covering people who are homeless – after finishing project, went back and volunteered because it was an issue he cared about as a citizen.
    Comment: Government agencies trying to figure out community engagement, too – for example, realization that materials for the public are only in English. Realization that communities are contacted only when something is needed. Could journalists and agencies work together on some of the engagement parts?
    Comment: Think about it in small chunks as well as big picture. Agent Orange for ProPublica: some pieces written just to keep the community involved; we’ve heard what you said, we are writing something just so you know we are using your information. Affirming; drives content/readership; kept people connected for larger asks. If we are open in the beginning about what we’re building up to, people will give us the faith and space.
    Ivan: We have to use different methods when engaging with different communities based on where they are and how they view the media.
    Comment: Irony of all this is it doesn’t take much because our expectations are so low. It can be little steps like setting up conversation between people who wouldn’t naturally cross paths.
    Comment: Simple thing any newsroom can do: Before pursuing a story, get out of the institutional construct of the story, of “what is it,” and ask “who is living this story and what do they call it?” Minneapolis Star Tribune decision to do a story about local Somali American youth being recruited for jihad. Paper called it “Fighting Terrorism.” Community called it “Saving Our Children,” which completely changes the story.
    Ivan: We need to assess where a community is in relationship to the media when deciding to do community engagement – need to strategize correct method of engagement. Tools/methods: Start with reporting project to get support of leadership, flip it from an institutional to a community perspective, use network of people already in place who know how to do public engagement.
    Comment: If you’ve got the right question, the answers will come. Focus less on answers than on questions.
    Comment: If I cover the refineries in New Orleans, do you want me to be in solidarity with them? How do you pick and choose who gets solidarity and who doesn’t?
    Comment: It’s a paradox: The original purpose of independent journalism was to avoid coercive influences other than the public interest. How do you maintain the appropriate independence to not be influenced negatively and yet have solidarity/empathy with communities?
    Comment: Maybe the bottom line is “give a shit.”
    Comment: Keep hearing that people get into journalism because they care, but they aren’t taught how to act on that. How do I finesse this so that people will listen and provide support?
    Comment: How do I build alliances and advocate for engagement approaches in the newsroom?
    Comment: How do we learn to live with urgency and patience? Need to increase our own capacity to be present in ourselves and in our communities if anything is going to shift?
    Comment: When do we lead and when do we follow?
    Comment: Quality of the intervention depends on the interior quality of the intervener (quote).
    Ivan: What does “engagement on whose terms” mean? Sometimes people go into a community without consulting the community that they’re trying to engage.
    Comment: Need to consider authenticity and reciprocity.
    Comment: Need to ask people, what does this look like in your life? And then, what are the questions that need to be asked to address those experiences?
    Comment: What’s the physical space? Where are we doing this engagement, in the newsroom or in someone’s living room?
    Comment: Wish more colleagues were here – hearts are in the right place, but they need to hear what’s being said here.

    • Ashley Alvarado 8:31 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      From Iván:

      Participants were:

      Courtney Breese, Dahlia Bazzaz, Suzette Riley, Laura Gunderson, Mike Fancher, Mary Stucky, Robin Teater, Cornelia Reichel, Andre Natta, Kyle Bozentko, Paloma Dallas, Jo Ellen Kaiser, Michelle Levander, Michelle Garcia, Mike Green, Stephen Silhak, Bob Stilger, Sydetter Harry, Any Wang, Ivan Roman, Paul Waters, Burgess Brown, Payton Bruni

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