A project of Democracy Fund

August 18, 2017

Local Fix: How Can I Help, Tons of Tips, and Trust



Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news.  But first, we always begin with one good idea..
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One Good Idea: How Can I Help? 
The Cohort is an insightful newsletter from Katie Hawkins-Gaar “about women kicking ass in digital media” (Go ahead- subscribe. And check out this list of awesome women working in local news while you’re at it.)
This week, Hawkins-Gaar shared an installment from last year with advice for White journalists on how to support their colleagues of color. It’s worth a read.

Looking Back At Charlottesville Through the Lens of History

We couldn’t write to you this week without discussing the hateful events that took place in Charlottesville last weekend. But there has already been a lot written about those events, and the role of the media. Rather than link to those pieces, which you can easily find or have already seen, we wanted to look back to the past for context on this current moment.

In a statement this week Democracy Fund CEO, Joe Goldman, wrote “Incidents of heinous racism and nativism have occurred throughout the history of America […] Recognizing the persistence of these movements within our country is integral to combatting them. For the vast majority of us repulsed by the bigotry that descended upon Charlottesville, we must continue the hard work of ending such hatred and the forces that normalize it. The Democracy Fund remains steadfast in our commitment to a resilient, diverse, democratic society that defends free speech but reviles racism and political violence.”

Below we link to Poynter’s look back at how journalists confronted white supremacy and the KKK in the 1920, two pieces on the Kerner Commission report from 1968 and a recent book that takes a long view of race and American media. What else would you add to the list?

Read All the Things

You’re looking for ideas, case studies, and examples of newsrooms doing awesome things that you can actually put into practice in your newsroom? Well, this is the section for you. Recently, the Coral Project, the Listening Post, the Membership Puzzle Project, the American Press Institute, and others have released some fantastic reading and guides that provide usable tips and help on a huge variety of subjects. Bookmark these, print them out, and put some of these ideas into action.

It’s a Matter of (Online) Trust

What will happen to online trust in the coming decade? Pew Research Center asked technologists, strategic thinkers, and leaders in various industries to respond to that prompt, and released the results in a report last week. We often hear about trust in broad terms applied to media, but the ways the internet affects trust in media are vital elements to consider. Here we’ve compiled a few ways various organizations have grappled with some of these issues, and research that may provide a useful foundation in thinking about them going forward.

Have a good weekend,
Josh and Teresa
@jcstearns, @gteresa

The Local Fix is a project of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which invests in innovations and institutions that are reinventing local media and expanding the public square. Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund, you can find a full list of the organizations we support on our website.