IJNet Live: How to revive local, community-focused journalism

by Sam Berkhead
Oct 30, 2018 in Miscellaneous

Even though community news organizations have taken a heavy hit in today's media environment, there's no doubt that local news plays a vital role in keeping people informed. These outlets are able to discover and tell stories that are relevant to their readers in a way that national media can’t. As a result, Nieman Lab found that those who regularly read and watch local news are more likely to be engaged members of their communities than those who don’t.

How do we harness this potential and foster community reporting that both informs and engages the public? How can we begin to strengthen local journalism as local news outlets across the U.S. steadily continue to shrink?

Join IJNet for a live chat on Thursday, April 13 at 1 p.m. EDT. Using expert insight and real-world examples, we’ll discuss the strategies, tips and tools needed to rebuild and revive local journalism.

Participants will be free to ask questions and get advice from Alon Aviram, co-founder of The Bristol Cable; Teresa Gorman, local news associate at the Local News Lab; Jesse Hardman, founder of The Listening Post; Kristen Hare, reporter at Poynter; and Amalie Nash, West Region executive regional editor at Gannett.

Interested participants can enter the chat here on the day of the event or ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #IJNetLive.

Leaders in local news innovation and strategy, Aviram, Gorman, Hardman, Hare and Nash will discuss:

  • Delivering journalism as a service, not a product
  • Developing reader engagement strategies that work
  • Tips for finding local beats and investigating local stories
  • Making local news financially feasible

About the chat leaders:

Alon Aviram is co-founder and coordinator of The Bristol Cable, a media co-op in Bristol, United Kingdom that seeks “to create commonly owned public-interest journalism, produced by a wide range of people.” At the Cable, Aviram is involved in everything from planning and producing content to overseeing finance and general operations.

Teresa Gorman is a local news associate at Democracy Fund's Local News Lab, which looks to find new ways of reporting, engaging communities and sustaining news organizations of all sizes. She co-runs The Local Fix, a weekly newsletter that rounds up the latest on the journalism industry along with tools, advice and resources for strengthening local news.

Jesse Hardman is a journalist and the founder of The Listening Post, a community media project that aims to capture, share and engage with local voices, information and opinions. Hardman works with Internews to expand the Listening Post model to media around the U.S. Based in Los Angeles, he has reported from Egypt, Thailand, Tunisia, Vietnam, South Africa, China, Mexico, Peru, Ethiopia, Haiti and Chile.

Kristen Hare is a reporter at Poynter, where she covers local news innovation. A graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, Hare spent five years at the St. Joseph News-Press and five years covering race, immigration, the census and aging at the St. Louis Beacon. She has received a Mirror Award nomination for her work at Poynter.

Amalie Nash is the West Region executive regional editor at Gannett. She oversees about 50 news organizations in the Midwest and western United States, helping to elevate their journalism and encouraging them to collaborate with one another. She previously worked as executive editor and vice president for news and engagement at The Des Moines Register.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Nathan Rupert.