A project of Democracy Fund

September 28, 2018

Local Fix: Jobs, Kindness, Engagement Events, and Assault Resources


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: Exceptionally talented and exceptionally kind This week over on Twitter, Texas Tribune’s editor-in-chief Emily Ramshaw asked her followers to share and tag the names of journalists who are both exceptionally talented and exceptionally kind. The result is a long and fantastic list of journalists who deserve to be recognized for all they do. We know that the news can be non-stop, and many local journalists have fewer resources than ever to do the important work they’re doing. Follow Ramshaw’s example and take a moment to thank a fellow journalist for what they do, even if that someone is yourself.

Host a Meaningful Engagement Event

Building an inclusive, interesting, and engaging event is no easy task. From the food to the room to the prompts, everything matters when putting together an event that will connect newsrooms to communities in a meaningful way. But we often fall into the trap of not doing the needed prep work and end up disrespecting the communities we want to engage. This week, Lisa Heyamoto and Todd Milbourn from the 32 Percent Project shared tips on how to “encourage participation, promote thoughtful dialogue, and work toward a meaningful goal” when building an engaged journalism event. They summed it up with a great quote from a participant at one of their events: “You don’t want people to talk at you,” he said. “You want people to talk with you.” Take a look at their tips, and bookmark the others we’ve shared here to help you as you plot your next gathering. 

Covering Sexual Violence

Sexual assault has filled the headlines this week, so we’re revisiting guidelines for newsrooms on covering sexual violence. We’ve compiled resources on best practices with advice on language, reporting practices, and questions to think about from the Dart Center, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and NSVRC. We also know that journalists don’t get the luxury of turning off the news if they need a break. If you need support or resources, the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline is at 1-800-656-4673, and NSVRC has more resources online.

Jobs and Opportunities

Occasionally we like to feature different opportunities such as jobs, fellowships, and grants that come across our transom. Checking out job descriptions is an interesting way to see how responsibilities in newsrooms are evolving. Plus, we know it’s hard to keep up with all the new jobs, awards, and other things floating around. If you have an opportunity to share, or if you’re looking for something new, let us know – we always like to connect great folks with great opportunities.

Have a good weekend,
Josh, Teresa, and Gabe, with editing support this week from Lea Trusty
@jcstearns, @gteresa, @gabemschneider, 

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.