April 15, 2022
Local Fix: Don’t forget to go back in time
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.|
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.
- How a 1960s case about race in Mississippi transformed TV news and the Federal Communications Commission — Kay Mills, Nieman Reports
- How newspapers quarantined racist extremism and KKK propaganda in the 1960s — Joan Donovan and danah boyd, The Guardian
- Fighting disinformation with media literacy—in 1939 — Anya Schiffrin, Columbia Journalism Review
- How conspiracy theories helped create the U.S. — Throughline, NPR
- “Fake news” has always existed, but quality journalism has a history of survival — Jackie Harrison, The Conversation
On our radar
- “Crushing resistance”: Yet again, newsrooms aren’t showing up to the industry’s largest diversity survey — Sarah Scire, Nieman Lab
- A nonprofit campaign converts 14 weekly newspapers in suburban New Jersey – Dan Kennedy, Media Nation
- In a vulnerable media economy, journalists are demanding ownership of their work — Alex Sujong Laughlin, Poynter
- The launch of the Southern New Mexico Journalism Collaborative — New Mexico Local News Fund
- “It’s one of my career goals to get my community, the people who look like me, the people I grew up with in Dallas, engaged” — Q&A with Obed Manuel, Oigo
Jobs and professional development
- Podcast producer and editor, LION Publishers, May to November contract at $800/month; deadline April 29
- Community manager, News Product Alliance, 6-12 month contract at $35/hour; deadline April 30
- Democracy Initiative manager, Solutions Journalism Network, full-time through December 2023, $75,000-$85,000; deadline May 2
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship for alumni or former students of HBCUs, the 19th*, $70,000-$75,000; deadline May 5
- Managing director, strategic partnerships, American Journalism Project, $169,320-$186,252; no deadline specified
Other opportunities and events
- Local That Works webinar with Richland Source, April 19, 2-3pm ET
- Collaborative Journalism Summit from the Center for Cooperative Media, in Chicago and remote, May 19 + 20; scholarship tickets available
- SRCCON call for participation; propose a session or request a stipend for the virtual June conference from OpenNews by April 25.
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.
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