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July 21, 2017

Local Fix: Time for Dinner, Vacations, and Leadership Tips

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: Where do Ideas Come From?

A solitary lawn chair. A person smelling a book in a library. A brainstorming session. A lightning bolt. A yellow ball bouncing down the street. A dump truck. A YouTube video. This short video by Andrew Norton asks a variety of artists, podcast producers, directors, journalists, and more where they get ideas from. The big takeaway? “Ideas are everywhere. You just have to notice them.” (Plus, this post shares useful tips and background on the production process of the video.) Go watch.

Be Our Guest

We’ve all used donuts to get people to come to meetings, but the projects here take that idea to the next level. They use food to bring people together to talk about the things that matter to them. Thousands of Chicagoans have participated in On the Table conversations  about their neighborhoods, New Jerseyans are invited to host their own “Political Potlucks,” and Atlantans talked about their city over lasagna. What conversations could you have with the community over the dinner table? Have you done a food-related journalism project? Send it our way.

I’d Rather be at the Beach

Maybe there’s something ironic about including this in a newsletter that goes out on Friday afternoons, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Save this email for later, turn off your phone, and go on vacation. Vacations are good for you, and can help overcome burnout. The resources here share various reminders that time off, and time offline, is incredibly important for all of us, even though we know it isn’t easy to do. Local news wouldn’t exist without all the people working hard to make it happen, and it is vital those people can take care of themselves, and that their leaders take care of them, too.

‘A Great Leader Never Rusts’

Our series, co-published with Poynter, from Marty Kaiser about leading during times of change wrapped up a first round this week. Each Q and A with a local newsroom leader is full of tips and things to consider about leadership. Do you have a leader to highlight or a related tip to share? Tweet to @thelocalnewslab, or hit reply to this email to share.

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.