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This is a weekly newsletter for Gather, a project + platform to support community-minded journalists and other engagement professionals. We’d love your feedback. What's useful about this newsletter? What's missing? Let us know

In this week's newsletter:

  • GATHER SLACK: New moderators, new channels, and a few updates.

  • JOB ALERT: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK) is looking for their first-ever Supporter Engagement Coordinator.

  • HOT READ: Two NYT reporters dig into how Democrats' digital campaign strategies aren't as robust as Trump's campaign.

  • INTROS: Meet Natasha Madov, Associate Editor at Brightwire and co-founder of Ada.

Say hello to the Gather Mod Squad

One of our favorite things about Gather is how generous people are with their time and expertise. If you’ve got a problem or question, it’s likely you can ask about it on the Gather Slack and hear back from someone with experience or wisdom to share. 

It should be no surprise, then, that when we invited you to apply for the new Gather Mod Squad, people showed a willingness to help lead the community as it grows. 

To recap, we heard from you in our user survey this summer that there are four key ways Gather can be especially useful: help us connect; help us keep learning; help us keep up; and help us understand the big picture. We also heard that the Gather Slack workspace, which now has more than 1,100 members, can feel overwhelming and unmanageable. 

One response to that is changes to a couple of channels. The #help channel is now #orientation, where we’ll welcome new folks, help you get the lay of the land and answer questions about Gather. The #brainstorm channel is now #announcements, where messages from the Gather staff will be shared. 

Our second, much bigger change is the creation of a team of moderators. The Mod Squad be deputized to serve as hosts of specific Slack channels — they’ll help welcome new folks, answer questions, moderate discussions and make connections. They’ll be led by Joy Mayer, Gather’s community manager, and Gracie McKenzie, a member of our steering committee. 

The Mod Squad has proposed two new channels that we’re introducing today as well. #professionaldevelopment will address training for journalists, how we all keep learning and how we make ourselves marketable and hirable. #culturechange is a place to talk about how we get buy-in for our ideas, make change less scary and encourage collaborative, forward-thinking newsroom environments. (Because these channels are new, you'll need to click to join them if you're interested in those topics.)

We’ve set this up as an experiment to start. This slate of moderators will serve through the end of January, when we’ll assess whether the idea seems to be meeting your needs. Huge thanks to Phillip Smith and Alexandra Smith who proposed and created the #paidacquisition channel in July and have set the bar high for effective moderation. 

Please say hello to the first Gather Mod Squad: 

#audiencedevelopment: Nicole Barton
#culturechange: Summer Moore
#europe: Laura Oliver
#facetoface: Christine Schmidt
#membership: Ariel Zirulnick
#metricsandimpact: Jessica Lee Martin
#moderation: Anna Bold
#newsletters: Tommy Hamzik
#orientation: Julia Haslanger
#paidacquisition: Phillip Smith and Alexandra Smith
#professionaldevelopment: Elizabeth Dunbar
#socialmedia: Beth O'Malley
#teachingandlearning: Adriana Lacy
#tools: Stephanie Backus

— Mod Squad co-leaders Joy Mayer, community manager, and Gracie McKenzie, steering committee member


Lightning Chats

Lightning chats are 30-minute video chats in which we (and by that we mean anyone!) discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study. Peruse our archive of chats (including video replays) on Gather. You can also subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal.

Here's what's coming up: 

12-12:30 pm ET, Oct. 29: Self-care for engaged journalists // Let's talk about how to take care of ourselves while balancing a job that's constantly demanding more, an audience that has plenty to say and a news cycle that won't stop. Chaseedaw Giles of Kaiser Health News and Melissa Daniels of The Desert Sun will bring tips from their ONA session to this lightning chat. Join us on Zoom for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.

Self-care is a big topic! What do you hope the chat will address? Weigh in on Slack.


Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Check out our full list of jobs, fellowships, and funding opportunities on Gather, and let us know what we're missing.

Supporter Engagement Coordinator, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: “In this new role, you will use your experience of audience engagement, communications, fundraising and/or marketing to find innovative ways to keep supporters up-to-date with investigations, strengthening our connection with readers and followers, and encouraging more people to join and support us. We want a brilliant communicator to come on board to use our website, social media, newsletters, events and other means to better connect with our readers, helping to grow our subscriber base and motivate individuals to support our work." Location: London.

Community Updates

If you haven't joined the Gather Slack community, you're missing out on a lot of brainstorming, advice giving and collaboration. Join here.

Meet Natasha Madov, this week's Featured Member.

Name: Natasha Madov

What you do: Writer, editor and news startup cofounder. Right now I’m an Associate Editor at Brightwire, a financial news wire service and also work at my company in Brazil, Ada, a tech news website aimed at Brazilian women.

Why you’re on Gather: Audience engagement is something we at Ada are very focused on, so Gather was the perfect place to learn and share ideas and experiences.

One thing you have to share on Gather: I have worked with international audience development and engagement, and would love to use my experience to help out initiatives with non-English speaking communities.

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: Hearing feedback from audience members, both good and bad. The good makes me proud of the work I do and what it means for people and the bad because I can learn from it and hey, if they took the time to write, it’s because it also means something for them.

Who or what inspired you to get into this work? God, I’ve been saying I want to be a journalist since I was seven or eight, I think. I loved reading the newspaper and once I realized people got paid to make it, that was it. No going back.

Would you rather watch a movie, read a book, or listen to a podcast? I love to do all three, but I would say that currently it is reading a book because it’s the activity I have been doing the least. I can’t seem to find the time and peace to concentrate!

Links for ways to connect with you.
Twitter @natmadov, email or drop me a line in the Gather Slack or Facebook
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