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We’re building on the October 2015 “Experience Engagement: How communities and journalism can thrive together,” that Agora Journalism Center and Journalism That Matters co-hosted. The three-day convening generated a breakthrough vision for a civic communications ecosystem. It also:

Our goal is to help people have, create and share the news, information and connection they need to make the best possible decisions for their lives and their communities.

Some questions we will explore together:

  • How do we develop a new sense of values and ethics that makes engagement viable and productive for communities and journalists?
  • How do we build trust, credibility and relationships in the age of engagement?
  • How can communities and journalists not just trust, but rely on each other?
  • How can temporary relationships built around a project or story be prolonged into lasting relationships, particularly when they  connect across race, class, and other divides?  How can we build community capacity for telling their own stories?
  • How can communities have more complete storytelling about civic life?
  • How can people who are not journalists serve as connectors within communities and with media?
  • How can news and information gaps be filled within communities, as well as by media?
  • How can journalists engage more fully in in civic life, while maintaining credibility and trust?
  • What are the best tools and techniques for community connection?
  • Who are the exemplars and what can others learn from them?
  • What is journalism in an interdependent, interactive world?

These questions seem particularly relevant in the aftermath of the presidential election, including concerns that media haven’t been listening thoughtfully to all communities. We welcome your suggestions for other questions to address.

Our aim in 2017: Together, we’ll generate actionable tools, illuminate promising practices and develop strategies for helping communities have the news, information and connection they need to create thriving, healthy, inclusive communities.

Join us in a lively and productive exchange around challenging questions with a diverse group of peers who care about storytelling with civic impact — the capacity to address shared public challenges.

Participants will create shared resources and vocabulary to engage diverse participants with civic life, strengthening communities by building new relationships among informed, engaged citizens and the media that serve them.