Civic Journalism

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					Civic Journalism
  The Role of
 Newspapers in
   Building
  Citizenship
Press Challenges
 Profit pressures
 Internet
 Bad journalistic habits
 Government regulation
New Questions:

•Who is a journalist?
•What is journalism?
New Trends:
• Interactive journalism
• Participatory journalism
• Citizen journalism
Civic Journalism

•   Restore good habits
•   Build reader connections
•   Get better stories
•   Build better citizens
Journalism Today
• Blurred lines
  – Reporting & Commentary
  – Entertainment & News
• Difficulty “getting it right”
• Serving elites vs. citizens
• Out of touch with public
• Commercial > sensational
  Bad Habits
• Act rushed
• Hover with notebook
• Ask loaded questions
• Expect fast answers
• Listen for quick quote
• Show up only for problems
• Corrupt behavior
 Civic Journalism
   Aspirations

 Retain watch dog
 Abandon attack dog
 Add guide dog
Civic Election Coverage

• Avoid < horse race
  polls
• Focus > voter issues
• Frame > hiring
  decisions
Charlotte
Observer
Norfolk
Virginian-Pilot
Philadelphia
Inquirer
Mayor’s Race
  Pew Center for
  Civic Journalism
 Funded 120 projects
 Tracked 650 projects
 Trained 4,000 journalists
 Awarded 30 Batten Awards
 Interactive journalism
 Read more:

www.pewcenter.org

  www.j-lab.org
Computer kiosks
> Community surveys
Clickable
Maps
Tax Calculators
NHPR Budget Builder
Definition:
Civic Journalism
News that citizens need to:
• Learn about issues, events
• Make civic decisions
• Participate in a democracy
Civic Toolbox
• New definitions of “news”
• New sources of news
• New interactions with
  readers
• Mental checklist
What is “News?”
Content audits: 1977 - 1997:

• Government News < 38%
• Entertainment News > 380%
• Scandal News > 300 %
Civic Techniques
 – DON’T:
   • Keep score
   • Focus on conflict

 – DO:
    • Cover solutions
    • Interview all stakeholders
Savannah’s
Vision 2010
Civic Attributes:
• Entry points for citizen
  input - task force
• Reported solutions
• Build civic capacity
   – Action plan
   – Non-profit foundation
Civic Response:
• 1,100 reader calls
• $200,000 donations
• 50 tons food
• 8,000 toys
• Thousands volunteer hours
“News” as Conflict

Internal vs. External

 – Conflict in Values
 – Not Conflict of People
    Civic Mapping
 List pre-conceived ideas
 Diversify Sources
        Catalysts
        Connectors
 Watch for stereotypes
 Hold conversations not
 interviews
 Define terms
 Find master narratives
Learn more:
   www.pewcenter.org

“A Journalists’s Toolbox”
    (4 videos)
“Tapping Civic Life” booklet
Taking
Back Our
Neighborhoods
    Civic Listening
 Data Crunching
 Community Poll
 Citizen Advisors
 Town Halls
Charlotte’s Civic Tools
• TV and radio partners
• Neighborhood advisors
• Town hall meetings
• Success stories
• “Needs” lists for each area
Charlotte
Observer’s
“Needs” List
What we know:
 Triggers civic behavior
 Increases knowledge
 Builds credibility
 Citizens “get” it
 Builds civic capacity
 Builds reporting capacity
Master Narratives

  Covering the Noise
         Vs.
 Covering the Silences
The New City
Aging Matters
Deadliest
Drug
   Mental Checklist
• How do you position people?
 √ As color or furniture that you
 move around?

 √ Or as a citizen capable of
 action?
   Mental Checklist
Do you only raise awareness?
√ Can a story invite input, ideas?

√ Can it help readers do something
 with the information?
   Mental Checklist
Have you talked to all
 stakeholders?
 √ Do you report more than two
 sides of the story?

 √ Do the pros and cons get you the
 real story?
   Mental Checklist
Do you report internal and
 external conflict?

 √ Do you help people see possible
 choices and consequences of those
 choices?

 √ Do you examine conflicting
 values?
  Mental Checklist
Do you advance solutions?
 √ Report what has worked
 elsewhere?

√ Invite community
brainstorming?
  Mental Checklist
Do you invite participation?

 √ How can people respond?

√ Are there “entry points” for
 input?
     2001 Pew Poll
Q33b. For The Futur e, Do You Belie ve The Health Of The
          New spaper Business De pends On...


         10%
       0%

                                          More Interactiv ity With Readers
                                          Less Interactiv ity
                                          The Same As Now


                  90%
Want more interactivity
Q33a. Ar e You Satisfied With Your New sr oom 's Le vel Of
               Inte ractivity With Re ader s?



                                27%


                                                             Yes
                                                             No


                73%
  Build Connections


              ENTRY POINTS


ATTACHMENTS   RELATIONSHIPS   AUDIENCE
  Less Noise


More Meaningful
  Interaction
 The Institute
for Interactive
  Journalism
   www.j-lab.org

				
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