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July 28, 2017

Local Fix: Pushy Notifications, You Can Do This, People Over Process

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: Reflecting Community Back 
How can local news help a community see itself more fully? The “I Am A Kentuckian” video project highlighted the diverse contributions and stories of immigrants in Kentucky and was combined with local events and outreach. The effort was produced by Kentucky for Kentucky (which describes itself as “a small company… all about highlighting the complex identity of our state and–with words, images and one-of-a-kind products”). Other similar efforts include 100 Days in Appalacia’s 100 Days, 100 Voices project, and AL.com’s Whitman, Alabama project.

Pushy Alerts 📲

Right now, one of the most acute and important voices on journalism’s move to mobile platforms is Stacy-Marie Ishmael. Her tweets and posts consistently highlight design and editorial choices that seem to put users last, and she argues for new ways of thinking about how we deliver news and build trust in a mobile world. If you don’t follow her already, fix that. Push notifications are just one part of the mobile news equation, but as the lock screen and the inbox become more important in people’s news habits we wanted to highlight a few different approaches to thinking about push notifications.


How Do We Change Newsrooms 🛠

Innovation is fundamentally about change. Strip away the buzz and focus on the people and you essentially have teams and organizations grappling with how to adapt, invent, and imagine new futures for their work. This is hard stuff, especially at a time when the industry still faces pressing economic challenges. Sometimes, the way innovation is covered makes it feel like a magic process that happens behind the curtain and springs fully formed into the world. We wanted to pull back the curtain and look at the specifics of how newsrooms actually do, build, cultivate innovation into their spaces, teams and processes.


Newsroom Workflows and Processes ⏰

In newsrooms, especially small local ones, it can often feel like we are doing four jobs at once. Figuring out strong workflows around key areas of the reporting process can be critical to not only moving fast, but also getting the story right. Below are a series of articles that look at both new tools and newsroom culture, and offers concrete advice on workflows to strengthen verification, digital engagement and project management.
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.