In this zeitgeist of disruption for radio makers, events like the NFCB summit in St. Louis are a reminder of why we even bother to fill the air with sound and stories, and who they’re for: people and neighborhoods.
The stories that journalists (pro or citizen) tell about a place shape local identity the way that outsiders see a community, and the way that a community perceives itself. For people and neighborhoods that fall into the cracks, being invisible in the media can be discouraging, even dangerous. As we hear over and over again, representation matters.
So, how can journalists transform this pulse-raising moment of audio energy into an experiment that has tangible, meaningful benefits? How can they use new tools to “listen a little more and shout a little less“? And how can they begin to share the mic and make room for communities to tell their own stories?
These are the kinds of questions that we have been mulling over at AIR HQ. This week we pulled together a reading list on local news and community journalism that culls lessons from the civic tech world, projects like StoryCorps and Curious City, and experiments in citizen journalism.
- How public media collaborations are creating opportunities for local reporting | Gabriel Rosenberg for CJR
You can’t always go it alone. An ongoing CPB-funded project to support community journalism gathers public media stations across the U.S
- How do you get the millennials to care about local news? The Charlotte Observer is testing out one idea | Joseph Lichterman for Nieman Lab
The Charlotte Five posts five stories per day online — a gateway periodical for young readers, intended to pique millennial interest in community news. Soon the youngs subscribe to the heavier, printed stuff.
- Media Impact Forum Community News Reimagined | Media Impact Funders
A window into the minds of grant readers: address a need or, better yet, a demand.
- Local News in a Digital Age | by Pew Research Center
Distillations and takeaways from Medium’s Josh Stearns and Nieman Lab’s Justin Ellis.
- Publishing by Mandate: What Outsiders Can Teach You About Coverage | Jennifer Brandel for ONA
How outside eyes and ears alter the reporting process. Curious City’s presentation for ONA in 2014, slideshare here.
- Building for Inclusive Community Participation | Lauren Ellen McCann for the Code for America Summit
Farmers markets, block parties and conga lines: How the civic tech community stepped outside of itself to “meet people where they are.” Josh Stearns challenges journalists to do the same.
- The (New) Industry Standard: Making Citizen Broadcasters into Citizen Journalists | Betsy O’Donovan for Nieman Reports
Are citizen journalists equipped to fill the gaps in mainstream media? Putting reporting standards and tools in the hands of the hardworking and civic-minded.
- Hyperlocal cooties | Jeff Jarvis for Buzz Machine
Jeff Jarvis combs the graveyard of hyperlocal news start-ups for lessons and pinpoints three things that tie the survivors together.
- On convening a community: An excerpt from Jack Batsell’s new book on engaged journalism | Jake Batsee for Nieman Lab
Ask your readers. “If you open it up, there are a zillion angles that wouldn’t have otherwise” come to light.
- Five Kinds of Listening for Newsrooms and Communities | Josh Stearns for Medium
Listening is an act of love. Give your community a little sugar.
Emily Boghossian is AIR’s editorial operations associate, a recent graduate of Carleton College, and a person who lives in a neighborhood.