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The Local News Lab has been archived as of March 1, 2023. This page will remain online but will not be updated. More info.

April 15, 2022

Local Fix: Don’t forget to go back in time

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Welcome to the Local Fix. Every other 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…

A new guide on community ambassadors

If you want to build better local news and are thinking about understanding a certain neighborhood better, why not work with some community listening ambassadors? That’s the approach the American Journalism Project considers with people in an area who already have trust and longstanding relationships in different communities within a geographic area. They’ve been key partners to the approach used by AJP and local funders in efforts to build local newsrooms that truly fill community needs in places like Wichita and Ohio. And now, you can do the same by following a step-by-step guide created by Fiona Morgan, AJP director of community listening. The guide has templates for hiring, connecting with, and learning from community ambassadors anywhere. Check it out here.
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Learning from history

It’s become cliché to talk about the moment we’re in as “unprecedented.” And yet, there are many threads from history that can inform and help us understand the challenges we grapple with today. People talk about journalism as the first draft of history, but too often we forget to look back and learn from that history as we navigate the economic, technological and social shifts happening today. For example, what can civil rights activism around local TV help us understand about the organizing happening now to hold social media platforms accountable for spreading hate and misinformation? What are the historical roots of aggregation and how the practice shaped and enabled journalism, not undercut it, in the early days of the republic? How have conspiracy theories and quality journalism grappled for public attention in the past? In the links below we share some (past!) perspectives on these questions in hopes that the past can provide context and depth to shape our current debates today.

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On our radar


Jobs and professional development

Other opportunities and events

Have a good weekend,

Christine and Teresa
@heres_christine and @gteresa

The Local Fix is a project of  Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which supports work that aims to transform journalism so everyone has access to information they need to participate in our democracy.

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.

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