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May 5, 2017

Local Fix: Collabor-ade and Questions

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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…

One Good Idea: Give Voice to the News

Poynter reports on how “NPR, the AP and local newspapers are beginning to experiment with Amazon Echo.” And Joe Amditis at the Center for Cooperative Media has created a guide for small teams and local newsrooms who want to experiment with audio storytelling on the Amazon Echo.

What are Audiences Looking for?

What can we learn about the news people need via the questions they ask? A new report from Pew explored how people search for and find local news during disasters like the Flint water crisis. That got us wondering how understanding audience desires might drive more community-oriented innovation, sustainability, and collaboration. The articles below try to answer that question.

Drink the Collabor-ade

Visual notes from the Collaborative Journalism Summit. Photo by Sarah Gustavus

Visual notes from the Collaborative Journalism Summit. Photo by Sarah Gustavus

We’ve spent the week talking and thinking about all kinds of partnerships in journalism at the Collaborative Journalism Summit. Here are a few projects that we learned about this week, each of which pursue collaboration through a number of different approaches. There are many more great examples to share – and we’ll keep highlighting more over the next few weeks. (Hat tip to the Center for Cooperative Media who had “collabor-ade” water bottles made for their event)

Profiles of Local News

Occasionally we like to shine a spotlight on the good work being done by local newsrooms around the country (so send in suggestions and tips!). This week we have a series of good stories, and one more difficult one. We have been following the remarkable work of the Watershed Post for years and have learned a lot from their approach. In the letter from the editor below we also learn a lot about the struggles of doing this work (which many of you can relate to).
One more thing: New Research from Democracy Fund
Two of the most common questions we hear about engaged journalism are: what is engaged journalism? And how (once you’ve figured out what it is) do you help the practice spread? To begin answering those questions, we released two papers this week that offer tons of examples and some hands-on advice for newsrooms.

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.