A project of Democracy Fund

October 20, 2017

Local Fix: But You Don’t Have to Take my Word For it

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: Librarians Are Your Friends

“What if you had a partner who cared as much as you do about getting the facts right, meeting community information needs, and helping people think critically about the news? You might find that partner just around the corner—at your local library.” Laurie Putnam outlines how journalists and librarians can pair up, and why they should, this week over on the Local News Lab.

Collaboration, Community Engagement, and Climate Change

We tend to think about climate change as an enormous global issue, one that is profoundly complex and hard to explain or make relevant to people. However, this week both the Columbia Journalism Review and Poynter highlighted the unique efforts of local newsrooms who are doing deep reporting on climate in their communities. Through community engagement, collaboration and data, newsrooms are localizing their reporting so that it is as much about big issues as it is about people’s back yards. In this same vein, we also love iSeeChange, a project that combines science, backyard observation, NASA data, and local journalism. With storms and fires on everyone’s minds, how are you thinking about longer-term efforts to cover climate?

This Headline is Not an Endorsement

Memos about social media usage by journalists from both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reopened an old discussion about how reporters should engage with audiences online this week. We’ll leave the debates over social media policies to others – you can find plenty of opinions, snark, and hot takes about this over on Twitter. Instead, we thought we’d look at some deeper, creative examples of how newsrooms and journalists are thinking about social media tools in their work. Get inspired, and don’t miss the turtles:

Sustainability on Aisle 5

A series of recent posts explore how building community can help build more sustainable news organizations, but take very different approaches to that question. There will be no silver bullet or out-of-the-box way to “solve” the business revenue problem facing local news, but having a varied set of approaches and ideas will be key:
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.