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

In this week's newsletter:

  • SYSTEMS THINKING CHAT RECAP: Three exercises that can help reveal patterns, explain complexities and identify areas for change for communities.

  • NEW CASE STUDY: Read how Searchlight New Mexico used crowdsourcing to investigate restraint and seclusion in the Albuquerque School District.
  • EXTRA, EXTRA! Check out these 10 (yes, 10! ) engagement-related jobs hiring right now.

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Newsroom election needs, leadership structures for medium teams, an Instagram check-in, and more.

  • HOT READ: “The Sacramento Bee wants to tie metrics to pay. Its guild is not having it.”

Three exercises to illustrate connections within systems 

The Journalism + Design team at The New School has spent the past three years exploring how systems thinking can help journalists explain complicated systems to their communities and identify possible areas for impact.

The team recently released their
Systems Thinking for Journalists toolkit, a web-based resource with seven practical exercises that journalists can apply to their work.

Last week, we heard from The Baltimore Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger on how three exercises deepened her investigation into Maryland’s child support system, and
Cole Goins and Kayla Christopherson from the J+D team shared the theory behind each:
  • Stakeholder mapping to understand who is most affected by an issue, who is connected to the issue, who has power in the issue, and others who are indirectly impacted in some way.
  • Systems mapping to visualize the “many forces at play in the play in the systems you're covering and the connections that drive them.”
  • Uncovering feedback loops to “help you identify core patterns that are at the heart of a problem you're reporting on.”
You can watch the chat or read the notes on Gather’s Lightning Chat archives (login to view). Cole and Kayla also published a blog post with more on Yvonne's reporting process

Finally - these resources will be around after the elections! I’m sending good wishes to all of you as you continue to listen to and support your communities through the last week of voting and beyond. 

Alisha Savson, Gather community manager

New Gather Case Study 

Gather case studies dive into engaged journalism projects to share what worked well and lessons learned. This week's case study comes from Jahlysa Azaret, a multimedia journalism graduate student at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.
How Searchlight New Mexico Used Crowdsourcing to Investigate Restraint and Seclusion in the Albuquerque School District

In 2019, the year-long Criminalizing Disability project investigated special education in New Mexico. One of the four most common experiences parents described was the restraint and seclusion of disabled students within the Albuquerque School District. Ed Williams, a staff writer at Searchlight New Mexico, led the investigation into this mistreatment of students. Williams engaged with the students’ parents in order to understand the situation the students faced.

Lightning Chats

Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study! You can subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal or revisit past chats in the archive (login for full access).
We’ve had many chats in the past month. Catch up on these inspiring conversations:

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Simon Galperin, Evan Mackinder, Heather Bryant, Alex Veeneman, Madeleine Bair, Sally Beauvais, and Sam Hoisington for posting these on Slack! Check out the #jobsandinternships and #grantsandfunding Slack channels to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

Gatherers have posted so many new engagement-related jobs on Slack this week. Here’s a selection of these opportunities:

Community Updates

The Gather Slack is the thriving hub of our community, where we brainstorm together, ask for and offer advice, and connect with each other. Sign up as a Gather member to join Slack.
  • Elections + newsroom needs: If you work in a journalism support role - how are you approaching supporting newsrooms leading up to Election Day and afterwards? A Gatherer wants your insights!
  • Leadership structures for medium teams: One Gatherer asks, “What kinds of leadership structures do you think help medium-sized teams succeed?” Executive editor models? Managing editors? The GM model? Weigh in here.
  • Instagram check-in: Gatherer Sarah Pineda shared an inspiring example of how Tippie Magazine did a mental health check-in on Instagram, and how they closed the loop with people who responded. Check it out.
  • First-person essays: Someone asked for examples of local news organizations publishing first-person essays or community profiles - and Gather delivered! Check out these examples.
  • Latinas in Journalism: Check out and share the new Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program. (Thanks for sharing Virginia Arrigucci!)

Hot Read"The Sacramento Bee wants to tie metrics to pay. Its guild is not having it." by Kristen Hare at The Poynter Institute. (This is the Gather community's most-shared story on Twitter this week. Look for other 'hot reads' in Friday's Nuzzel newsletter and in the #reads channel on the Gather Slack.) 
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