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Report: What would journalism look like if it was generated from within communities?

Tips and recommendations from news organisations developing and working with their communities

posted on 06 March 2019

What would journalism look like if it was generated from within communities rather than for communities? Using this central question to guide us, the Engaged Journalism Accelerator convened 30 European practitioners – including journalists, editors, researchers and representatives from communications agencies and civic society associations – in Madrid in December 2018 for a two-day workshop.

The discussions, sessions and activities that participants contributed to and led at the workshop were key to informing the contents of this report, including providing insights, tips, themes, examples, tools, frameworks and recommendations.

The topics that participants were keen to explore can be divided into two main themes, which we cover in more detail in the report:

  1. establishing and managing the engagement process (including using engagement to draw wisdom from the community, how to reward engagement and how to engage in the long run), and
  2. making the business case for engagement (including how to identify and navigate a resilient business ecosystem, how to figure out impact and measure success, how and why to scale engagement)

The report is not only reflective of the event itself, but it also provides a narrative for practitioners about the engaged journalism ecosystem within Europe. It is designed for journalists and their colleagues who are already taking an engaged journalism approach to their work.

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Recommendations:

  1. Make internal culture change a priority
  2. Face value speaks louder than online tools alone
  3. Simplify the language you use and enhance accessibility to your work
  4. Avoid parachuting into communities
  5. Undertake research and development (R&D) on the link between trust and revenue / resilience

An in-depth look at the recommendations can be found on page 30 of the report, which can be downloaded in full below.

Practical tips, takeaways and examples are highlighted throughout, and our goal for journalists and news organisations – both those who were present at the workshop and those who were not – is to refer to the insights and recommendations when developing and working with their own communities.

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Send us your feedback or questions to hello[@]engagedjournalism.com.

  • CIVIL
  • News Integrity Initiative
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