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February 24, 2017

Local Fix: Newsletter Guide, Switch Up Your Meetings, and Useful Lists

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Welcome to the Local Fix newsletter. Get the Fix in your inbox by subscribing at tinyletter.com/localfix.

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…


One Good Idea: Who Are You Talking To?
Where KCUR Central Standard's guests are from (Screen capture/KCUR.org)

Where KCUR Central Standard’s guests are from (Screen capture/KCUR.org)

In an effort to get a better idea of what voices they may be missing on-air, Kansas City’s public radio station KCUR recently shared the results from a year-long survey of guests that appeared on their show Central Standard. The voluntary survey asked questions about age, location, political ideology, race and sexual orientation. They shared the results publicly, and have given themselves a “gut check” and a benchmark for the future. It’s a smaller-scale version of NPR’s own source reviews that could inspire other local newsrooms. Do you have a method to “gut check” in your newsroom?

A List of 50 Organizations Working on Diversity in Media

A few weeks ago, we shared resources with concrete advice on how to stop talking and start doing when it comes to building more inclusive newsrooms and coverage. As the “doing” continues, the resources and ideas keep coming, including a list of more than 50 organizations working on diversity in media made by our colleagues here at Democracy Fund. Take some tips and inspiration from these new resources:

Work, Work, Work, Work

It’s all well and good to have new ideas, but roadblocks will come when it actually gets to getting things done. Here are some ideas on how to adjust workflow and collaboration with teams to get those projects and innovations you have in mind to the finish line. Sometimes, it takes something that sounds as simple as moving a meeting time or adding extra room for planning to really get things going.

Mind the Gaps in Local News

These experiments and organizations have identified an information gap and filled it with new ideas. Where are the gaps in your neighborhood? What are the needs? Get some inspiration from these newspapers, TV stations, newsletters, and digital startups:

🔗Local News Lab Link of the Week🔗

Our new site is full of practical advice, tools and tips. For a few weeks, we’ll highlight some of them here. This week, we recommend our guide to newsletters as news products. Learn more about monetizing, writing, and designing your email newsletter, and print out the guide to share with others.

After you hit print, don’t forget to send us your feedback and ideas for other resources that you would find useful on the Lab at localnewslab@democracyfund.org.

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.