What role can community journalism play in fostering love and forgiveness?

Convener: Eric Nelson

Present: Jim, Nora, Karen, Chris, Stephen, Peggy and Eric

Submitted by: Eric Nelson

  1. An important learning partner in civic journalism would be the Pew Charitable Trust
  2. Critical belief among journalist is to empower the reader to take positive action – once the problem is exposed they should also lift up possible solutions and resources to help address the problem
  3. Our job is to get the bad guys out of society, so at this time no one has the assignment to lift up love, forgiveness, and reconciliation
  4. In the current media environment it is critical to support coherent community life so as to have a wide market to, so telling stories that help to bring people together may be seen as a way to increase numbers of subscribers.
  5. Are we describing a small niche of readers who are interested in peace, reconciliation, restorative justice, race, etc.  If so how large is this audience and would it be interested in reading these stories?
  6. The Press Herald is a good example of a paper reporting positive news.  They had a skilled facilitators, who were selected from the community to hold community forums where people came in from opposing sides of an issue.  These gatherings created greater respect and understanding with people feeling more connected and even exchanging phone numbers.  One of the stories was on alcoholism as america’s most deadly drug.
  7. Journalist role is to empower citizens to act
  8. Is their a story waiting to be told about white flight from the urban centers to the suburbs, regarding fear of the other?
  9. The highest incidence of violence and hate occur within the family, this story is largely taboo and under reported in the media, what prevent this? What is the role of Love and Forgiveness?
  10. Could we shift the reporting paradigm from crime reporting toward the idea of HEALTH AND SAFTY REPORTING.
  11. Check out Jane Ellen Stevens interview on work pages 8-10 of our pre-meeting interviews.
  12. What type of beat might capture love and forgiveness stories … you might be able to link a local reporter as a mentor with community leaders who could serve as stringers of stories on love and forgiveness.  This could be done with non-profit leaders, clergy, social workers, community non-profits etc. These individuals could act as shadow journalists and enrich the view of the local community, these stories could be print or even on-line to reduce costs. Could be called THE OTHER SIDE OF THE NEWS or TOOL FOR LIVING
  13. A civic action beat is done by about 20% of existing print and broadcast media.
  14. What role might bloggers play as shadow journalists.
  15. Perhaps local non-profits and community groups would be will to underwrite the cost of two pages in the newspaper that would support the cost of shadow news.
  16. Love and Forgiveness is the place people live in real life, so it is a real and practical story that could find a loyal readership.
  17. Many journalist are in a state of self-doubt and would be open to and benefit from a program that would nurture the health journalist – this could look at the relationship between inner renewal and outer stories that provide positive tools for living.  This work could reach out to rising/emerging journalists.  It could be helpful to have a password protected website.  The site could provide support, best practices, cross-media sharing. You could probably get a group of volunteer mentors/coaches who would be eager to make media more positive.
  18. Fetzer’s unique contribution would be the nurturing of the inner life of the journalist, no one is doing this .
  19. How can commerce (publishers) and green space (creativity, formation) coexist
  20. What if we combined a journalist renewal program with the shadow paper and connected those groups through a best practices learning portal. There could be a public side of this site that could engage a civic conversation on healthy journalism. A good example of this type of website is www.myturningpoint.org a collaborative story telling portal as wells as the JAWS association of women journalists who hold an annual mtg. that makes space for the inner dimension of the journalist to be nurtured.
  21. Another connection to do formation work at state editors annual meetings.
  22. Your love and forgiveness mission could benefit from a media focus group to look at language that would bridge to the masses.
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