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Posts Tagged ‘community engagement’

I’m just doing some aggregation here, pointing to excellent how-tos by Buffy Andrews and Ivan Lajara and a great engagement story by Nancy March:

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We’re getting ready to take some of our Digital First Media newsrooms on the road.

Four newsroom vans will roll into neighborhoods in the coming months, loaded with the equipment and people of community engagement projects.

We will launch the Mobile Community Media Lab projects in Connecticut, the San Francisco Bay area, the Twin Cities and York, Pa.

Digital First Media announced plans today for 12 community newsroom projects that will engage our communities in a variety of ways. In addition to the four mobile labs, we will be launching university partnerships, remodeling newsrooms to provide space for the community and planning special projects in our existing space. (more…)

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I wrote last week about the work of an engagement editor (or social media editor or some related titles), a fairly new job in lots of Digital First Media newsrooms. Today, I turn the blog over to some of those editors to explain their roles (lightly edited by me):

Karen Workman

Karen Workman

Karen Workman of the Oakland Press:

When I became community engagement editor, one of my longtime sources asked me what that meant. This was my response to him:

I care about our audience. I care about engaging them, getting news delivered to them across a variety of platforms, expanding the diversity of voices on our website, making use of their comments and contributions, audience building and in general, making sure we’re fostering that all-important community conversation that is the essence of what we do.

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis of the Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

I find this job to be incredibly exciting so far. I don’t know a journalist who doesn’t say that one of the reasons they love their job is because they get to meet new people and be involved in the community; this job is the ultimate opportunity to be intricately engaged with and inspired by my community. I love the creativity it allows, and I find the “uncharted territories” of a brand-new position motivating and invigorating. (more…)

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Digital First Media newsrooms have several engagement editors and social media editors, most of them fairly new to these posts.

The duties vary depending on the needs of the community, the size of the newsroom, the initiative and interests of the editor and other duties (some of these editors wear multiple hats). Engagement and social media can be different positions (the New Haven Register has two full-time community engagement editors, Ed Stannard and Angi Carter, plus a city editor who also serves as social media editor, Helen Bennett Harvey.

I’ll blog here with a job description to help these editors as well as to help other top editors decide whether and how to name engagement editors for their newsrooms.

We’ll start with a tweet-length job description, then I’ll elaborate:

If some of that echoes my definition of community engagement, which I blogged about last year, that’s intentional. The engagement editor’s job is to lead community engagement efforts. (more…)

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I will be leading workshops this week for The Gazette in Montreal. Here are links and slides I will be using in workshops:

We will discuss leading a digital-first newsroom. Here are slides for that workshop:

We will discuss the thinking and values of digital-first journalists. Here are slides for that workshop: (more…)

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Seeking photos from the public is easier when you ask for photos people are already shooting. This is why weather photos, holiday photos and travel photos often work well for community engagement.

I like a project by the Oakland Press, collecting photographs people have taken of their children with a statue of a boy at the Rochester Hills Public Library. The statue, part of a memorial to Andrew Moore, who died as a young man, virtually invites children to pose with the boy. So the Press wasn’t asking people to shoot photos, it was just inviting them to share photos they already had.

The community photos made an engaging package with a story, video and photos by community intern Susan Fine, reporter Krystle Anderson and photographer Vaughn Gurganian.

Update from Oakland Press Community Engagement Editor Karen Workman:

  • Since it was uploaded Friday afternoon, the video for this story is currently the seventh top video for our website with 167 views. Though this may seem low on views, it is actually quite good for a feature story video.
  • The story also did pretty well in terms of pageviews. For both story files (the first one archived, so I had to re-upload to get it back on the front this morning), the current number of views is exactly 1,000 — again, quite good for a positive feature story.

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I will be leading a workshop today for Digital First journalists in Connecticut on engaging the community. I will cover many of the points in this 2011 blog post. Here are the slides I will use (though it’s going to be a free-flowing discussion, so I may not get to them all and may use some out of order):

 

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Update: Buffy Andrews and her colleagues at the York Daily Record will be getting a box of Valentine’s candy soon, winning my Valentine’s engagement project with 365 votes just over 50 percent. But the voting and engagement was strong enough that I’m going to send a second box of candy to the second-place finisher, the Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., which got 283 votes for 39 percent.

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis tweeted that her newsroom cared most about winning:

Still, I’m guessing the candy will be consumed.

I also should add that this is not all the Valentine’s engagement that Digital First newsrooms did, just the ones that provided the information for the contest. Delaware County Times mentioned in a Feb. 8 message:

Tonight (Wednesday) on our live-stream ‘Live From the Newsroom’ show, we are assembling our special gastronomic panel to delve into the mysteries of romance for Valentine’s Day, and in particular what food has to do with it. One chef is preparing a rack of lamb and talking about what foods will – and won’t – put you in the mood. … For Valentine’s Day, we are soliciting readers via social media to share the ultimate sign of devotion – a tattoo. Hopefully we’ll have some decent video and stories that take a look at the love stories behind the tattoos.

Reporter Paul Luce elaborated in a Feb. 9 email:

For the Daily Times’ Valentine’s Day Community Engagement Project, we decided to take a fun look at “love tattoos.” Utilizing Facebook and Twitter, we’ve solicited responses from folks who have tattoos of loved ones, or — even better — have had tattoos of loved ones removed.

It has generated quite a buzz on our Facebook page, from which I have gleaned a couple of great sources for interviews for the story. Internet Editor Vince Carey, Assignment Editor Jon Tuleya and myself have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter pages, using them as interactive tools to converse with readers online — which has been a lot of fun. One reader even went so far as to send us pictures of her tattoos! She has a great story to go along with them.  I’ve also garnered a few more followers to my Twitter account from this process.

In addition, I’ve contacted a laser surgeon who removes thousands of love tattoos each year.

For a video component of the story, we have some videos of a father getting a tattoo of his late son for Valentine’s Day, as well as interviews with the above-mentioned surgeon and others with tattoos of loved ones.

We’re looking to wrap up interviews and video shoots today, and have the project finished by Friday.

I asked Paul for an update Tuesday and didn’t hear back, so I forgot to include it the Delco project. But I looked up the final project to show you that we had more engagement going on than what I included in the contest.

Digital First Media newsrooms have been competing for a box of Valentine’s candy. I offered to send a Priority Mail box stuffed with candy to the newsroom running the best community engagement project centered on the holiday we associate with romance.

Several newsrooms and their communities responded to the challenge with interesting projects. I’d like your help to pick the best one.

Here are the entries, in the order they were submitted (in some cases, I’m combining multiple messages updating the project): (more…)

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Journalism values are not timeless and etched in stone. Values have changed through the years and the digital-first journalist recognizes that they are changing today.

In some ways, a digital-first journalist shares the values of traditional journalism but may pursue them in different ways. In other ways, we pursue values that we think are more appropriate for the networked world we work in today.

We won’t entirely agree on values. Where we share values, we may vary in priority and practice. Digital-first leaders trust our journalists and the editors leading our newsrooms to make smart, ethical decisions. So don’t view this as a narrow template into which we must squeeze our journalism or as unanimously held views. These are some thoughts on values that guide journalists — how they are changing and how they endure. I share these views to stimulate discussion about digital-first values because I believe we value candid and vigorous discussion about journalism and journalism values.

I am examining and explaining digital-first journalism in a series of blog posts this week. I started yesterday with a discussion of how digital-first journalists work. Today I address the values that guide digital-first journalists: (more…)

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I have two interactive map ideas to share: one that’s timely this week and one that I tossed out in conversation with some arts journalists Saturday:

Friday is Veterans Day. We got some pretty good engagement last year at TBD with our #wheretheyserved map (below), created by Daniel Victor.


(more…)

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Journalists hate few things more than buzzwords. Many of us regard ourselves as guardians of the language (as if protecting the First Amendment and being watchdogs of the powerful weren’t enough guard duties). Buzzwords feel to many purists as some kind of assault on the language.

Washington Post ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton writes scornfully of my pursuit in his column today:

This is what “engagement” — the buzzword of media theorists and marketers — is all about. It’s using Twitter and Facebook to build a tribe or family of followers, even disciples, who will keep reading you.

I won’t try here to set Pexton straight on what engagement is all about, though my earlier post explaining community engagement might educate him a bit. What I want to address here is the widespread dismissal of new terminology by my fellow veteran journalists.

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When you tell the family you have a new job, the initial response, of course, is to congratulate you. If your new title is director of community engagement and social media, the second response is: What does “community engagement” mean?

I’ve been answering that question some since joining the Journal Register Co. (and answered the same question last year when I went to TBD to lead community engagement efforts).

Journalists aren’t as puzzled by the phrase as relatives, but I get questions from journalists, too. Some are skeptical, as journalists tend to be (and should be) of any buzzword. Some are enthusiastic about the general topic, but unsure what all it entails. Some suspect that community engagement is more about marketing than about journalism. Some fear that community engagement is one more chore stacked upon the already heavy workload of journalists in shrinking newsrooms.

My new Journal Register colleagues have been quite supportive of my new responsibilities. They are asking excellent questions about what we will be doing together to deepen engagement with the communities we serve.

I’m going to address all these questions in a series of blog posts that probably will take several weeks. Today I will provide an overview of community engagement. In coming weeks, I will dig into the various engagement techniques that I will cover only briefly here.

Let’s start with a tweet-length definition: Community engagement = News orgs making a top priority to listen, to join & lead conversation to elevate our journalism.

Update: Jeff Jarvis and Matt Terenzio said on Twitter that they thought I should have used “enable” instead of “lead” in the tweet above. I agree that enabling conversation is an important aspect of engagement (and I’d say it’s included in good leadership). But I’m not sure it’s more important than leadership. The community is pretty well able to converse already and is already doing so. But I’m pro-conversation, so I welcome this crowdsourced editing help:

Community engagement = News orgs make top priority to listen, to join, lead & enable conversation to elevate journalism.

I’ll elaborate on some key words there: (more…)

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