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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:

  • RECENT ARTICLES: Takeaways from four engagement-related resources.

  • JOB ALERT: Colorado Public Radio and Revue are hiring for audience-centric roles, plus an internship opportunity with the Democracy Fund.

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Attending NABJ/NAHJ or AAJA, effective newsroom meetings, where are Gatherers presenting this fall, and organizing metrics.

  • HOT READ: "Why the Pandemic is So Bad in America" by Ed Yong at The Atlantic.

  • INTROS: We’re temporarily pausing our Featured Member profiles to better reflect the diversity of our community.

Four engagement takeaways from recent articles

I’m a nerd for stories about process and strategy. Add engagement into the mix, and now you know the kinds of internet rabbit holes I get into.
One of the things I’ve been working on is internalizing one lesson from each article I read, and a practice that helps me is writing about it. With that, here are three articles (and one webinar!) about engagement I’ve read recently, and what I’m taking from each.
  • Listening is about understanding what narratives are already in place, and who benefits from those narratives. This insight comes from Terryn Hall, a writer and consultant who was a panelist on “What Journalists Can Learn From Community Organizers,” a webinar hosted by America Amplified last week. The entire webinar is on Youtube and worth watching.
  • Sometimes, engagement strategies develop over time in response to your community. Sebastian Auyanet wrote about Conexión Migrante for The Membership Puzzle Project, and it was helpful to see how one early reader question in 2017 sparked Conexión Migrante’s main strategy for producing stories.
  • Inviting more equitable participation requires “yielding some power.” Jenna Spinelle recently wrote about how the ‘Resettled’ podcast at Virginia Public Media invested in a more equitable audio storytelling process in several ways - including incorporating participant feedback into their story edits. I like the idea of inviting feedback to shape story arcs, and am curious what this looks like in practice.
  • Engagement and solutions reporting go hand-in-hand. I’m a sucker for lists, and Linda Shaw (Solutions Journalism Network) and Bridget Thoreson (Hearken) recently created a 16-step checklist for engaged solutions reporting that is clear and actionable. As an early career engaged reporter, this is a tool I can use! Read more on Medium and scroll down to get the checklist.

What engagement-related articles are inspiring you these days? Share with me in the #reads channel on Slack!

Alisha Savson, Gather community manager

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). Here's what's coming up:

Aug. 25, 2pm ET // When to end a (beloved) print product - and what that opens up: Last month Scalawag announced the end of their print publication - a bittersweet decision that also opens new possibilities. Why did they make this decision, from an engagement and financial standpoint? How did they do it? And what engagement opportunities does this open up going forward? Join Lovey Cooper, Scalawag’s Managing Editor, to hear about their process. Register on Zoom for a 30-minute conversation at 2pm ET / 11am PT. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Michaël Jarjour and Christine Schmidt for posting these on Slack! Check out the #jobsandinternships and #grantsandfunding Slack channels to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

Audience Editor, Colorado Public Radio: “A CPR News Audience Editor, as part of the news digital team, ensures that the newsroom is serving all Coloradans with its digital products by understanding who Coloradans are, who is served by which stories, features, beats and projects, identifying the gaps between those and identifying opportunities to close those gaps and times when we must start anew.” Location: Denver, CO.

Community Manager, Revue: “Above all, we're looking for a person who lives for journalism and publishing. You are excited about helping others and guiding them to success. You love to own things, you are creative and you love to execute. You'll create content to help our users find their way around our platform and resources on how to create great editorial email products.” Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Public Square Program Internship, Democracy Fund: “The Public Square Program focuses on vibrant media and citizen engagement by supporting innovations and institutions that help people better understand and participate in the democratic process. Preferred minimum commitment of 28 hours per week and approximately 9 months.” Location: Remote, possibly transfer to D.C.

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.
  • Presenting soon? Are you presenting at an upcoming conference or webinar? Boost it on Slack!                                                                                                                                       
  • Organizing metrics: One Gatherer wants to compare email subject lines to open rates, and is looking for your examples of newsletter metrics spreadsheets. Share them here.

Hot Read:  "Why the Pandemic is So Bad in America" by Ed Yong at The Atlantic. (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.)

We’re taking a break from sharing Featured Member profiles to better reflect the diversity of our community.

As we have been making a variety of improvements to Gather, we have also been exploring how Gather can meet this moment and consider the ways structural racism shows up in our processes, and recognized the need for a “pause” in this section.

One Gatherer recently mentioned that most of the recent Featured Members are white - a truth that reflects a lack of clear, structured intentionality on my part when I invite Gatherers to fill out the profile. (Until now, our team has focused on reaching out to active Slack members because that’s where folks have been most active. It worked until it didn’t.)

A second motivation for this pause is practical - now that Gather’s new membership directory is live, we have four separate lists of people connected to Gather that don’t talk to each other: the new membership directory, the Gather Slack, the Gather newsletter, and the Nuzzel newsletter. We’re working to integrate all these lists, which will help us better understand who’s part of Gather - and not just on Slack.

Is there a Gatherer you’d love to see featured? Please recommend them by emailing me (Alisha Savson) or DM’ing me on Twitter or Slack!
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