July 30, 2021
Local Fix: Much ado about membership
Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key questions in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. But first, we always begin with one good idea…
One Good Idea: Bookmark this online violence resource hub
Journalists and people facing harassment online now have (another!) solid one-stop shop for support thanks to the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Center for Journalists. This hub is especially designed for women journalists and the specific types of harassment they typically encounter online. The step by step instructions walk through tricky online situations, outline how to prioritize safety across your organization and include guides for others to jump in and offer support to victims of online attacks. Share the link to this hub with journalists around you and keep it in your back pocket.
Much to Learn About Membership
Over the past four (!) years, the Membership Puzzle Project has been scouring the world for experiments and lessons from newsrooms building better relationships with their audiences. The project has explored how membership could work as a more resilient financial base for mission-driven news outlets and how members can play a stronger role in producing representative, quality journalism, drawing on examples from the Daily Maverick in South America, the Devil Strip in Akron Ohio, and the News Minute in southern India. (You can see the local news case studies they’ve compiled, from Chalkbeat, Bridge Michigan, VT Digger, Scalawag and more here.) Now, the project will sunset at the end of August after hosting a free summit next week to share more lessons and talk about the state of membership in the journalism industry. Can’t make it? Check out some of our favorite lessons we’ve learned from MPP and others experimenting with membership over the years below.
- How can the press clear the way for journalists to connect with audiences? — Emily Goligoski, Membership Puzzle Project 
- Before communities can invest in news, newsrooms must invest in communities — Heather Bryant, Membership Puzzle Project 
- Why your community members want to aid your reporting & 25 jobs you can ask them to do — Emily Goligoski & Stephanie Ho, Membership Puzzle Project 
- Membership Puzzle Project Guide 
Have a good weekend,
Christine, Areeba, and Teresa
@heres_christine, @areebashah_, @gteresa
The Local Fix is a project of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which supports promising new experiments redefining the public square in ways that make it more digital, participatory, and inclusive. The Fix was started by Josh Stearns and Molly de Aguiar. Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund. You can find a full list of the organizations here. Follow us on Twitter at @TheLocalNewsLab.