A project of Democracy Fund

September 17, 2021

Local Fix: Share leadership, lessons, and job postings

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: Share lessons learned
We’re big fans of the NC Local email newsletter, based out of the North Carolina Local News Workshop at Elon University. A recent edition about the pilot NC Media Equity Project reminded us why: The update on the collaborative approach to DEI shared takeaways, tensions, lessons, and successes that occurred during the first iteration of the project. The findings are useful for people in any state, not just North Carolina. Getting the chance to learn from afar is helpful for all, especially folks working on building healthier local news ecosystems across the country (and world) that sometimes can feel isolated. How do you share your work and lessons learned? Forward our way anytime.

Reinventing and sharing leadership

“We must question everything we thought of as the default,” Nonprofit AF founder Vu Le recently wrote in a blog post about radically reinventing leadership. Rather than defaulting to a single top CEO, co-leadership models provide the opportunity to distribute power and expertise. Shared leadership isn’t a new phenomenon but we’ve seen it popping up more regularly in the journalism space at organizations like Resolve PhillyOpenNewsCity BureauNew Mexico Local News FundFree Press, and Maynard Institute. In other nonprofit fields like museums, organizations have found that the model can lead to more effective decision making, centers the value of relationships, and aligns with anti-racism and equity efforts. That’s true for both existing organizations and startups. As Ned Berke recently shared on Twitter, starting your own news outlet can be an incredibly difficult road; co-founders and co-leadership is one way to make the journey a little more manageable. Below we’ve compiled a few examples and guides on how to set-up shared leadership models. Maybe it will spark something for you.

Have a good weekend,
Teresa and Christine
@gteresa and @heres_christine

P.S. Democracy Fund is hiring! Join our colleagues on the Digital Democracy Initiative as a program associate or senior associate and the Just and Inclusive Society project as an associate director or project associate.

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.