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August 11, 2017

Local Fix: Stop Being Creepy, Eclipse, Training, and Instagram

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: 37 Ways to Improve Training in Your Newsroom
What is good training for newsrooms? At SRCCON, participants shared tons of tips and advice, and captured it in some extensive notes. The session also pulled together a useful tip sheet with a 37 point checklist for anyone who wants to improve training.

Black Hole Sun

CC/Takeshi Kuboki

CC/Takeshi Kuboki

More than 300 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the solar eclipse on August 21, according to NASA. Josh Sternberg shared an overview of the different ways it is being covered in his newsletter, from how to view it to where to get safe eclipse glasses. Some news organizations are getting creative, using kid reporters, making interactive graphics, and tweeting useful tips. How are you covering it in your community? Let us know.

Stop Being Creepy

When we talk about trust, we often think about the ethics and standards that shape our reporting. But what if fundamental parts of our business model are also eroding trust? In the articles below, we explore how the tools we use for placing ads on our site, monitoring traffic stats and even some of our comment sections track our readers across the web. Sometimes these tools are even used to spread malware. What are the ethical and business issues newsrooms should consider related to these tools? What do we owe our communities to help them understand what kind of information our sites are collecting about them?

Do it for the Gram

There was a thought-provoking article in Recode recently that argued that we’re in the early stages of a visual revolution in journalism. While the written word isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it is important to consider the many tools and ways we can get information to our communities, whether they’re in a written story, or an Instagram Story. News organizations have experimented a lot with the disappearing visual storytelling of Snapchat, and now Instagram Stories. Let’s take a look at some of those examples now that Instagram Stories has passed its one year anniversary. We promise, it is not all photos of puppies and avocado toast (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Have a good weekend,
Josh and Teresa
@jcstearns, @gteresaThe 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.