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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:

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR: Ways to shift journalistic practices in 2021.
  • LIGHTNING CHATS: Calls for questions, topics, or ideas for skill-shares.
  • JOB ALERT: Apply to be the first Director of Events at The 19th*.

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Predictions from Gatherers, customer service, reads on race in the U.S., GDPR compliance, and more.

  • HOT READ: “Vons, Pavilions to Fire 'Essential Workers,' Replace Drivers with Independent Contractors.”

It takes action to be “part of” community

Happy New Year Gatherers! 

I hope each of you had a chance to recharge over the holidays, whether that meant flexing your creative muscles, connecting with loved ones, or sinking into well-deserved solitude. 

This week I’m catching up on some 2020 reads. At the top of my list is reading about what journalism can learn from mutual aid (Darryl Holliday), digging into El Tímpano’s feedback loops (Madeleine Bair), catching up on America Amplified’s work, reviewing the research project on improving online discussions (Vox/SpaceshipMedia / Center for Media Engagement), and of course, the NiemanLab predictions. 

What strikes me about all these reads is a theme: the industry conversation seems to be shifting away from “How do we save journalism?” and toward “What role can / should / will journalism play in feeding a healthy civic ecosystem?” 

The latter question recognizes journalism as a part of the communities we serve, rather than apart. Many NiemanLab predictions pinpoint how journalism practices must shift for us to “be part of” community with integrity, whether it’s opening up what it means to be a journalist, embodying equity in action at every level (and being wary of empty promises), becoming radically transparent about internal newsroom policies, normalizing women’s leadership, mapping power and powerful systems, ending parachute journalism, paying reparations, improving our abilities to meet people where they are and ask them what they need, or rethinking media ownership

Two quotes from the predictions feel especially hopeful and relevant to our community (emphasis mine):

“By starting with the community, relentlessly pursuing a relationship with them, and understanding what it means to serve them in diverse and meaningful ways, local media organizations can become civic pillars in their markets.”
-- Anna Nirmala, The American Journalism Project

“The journalists will realize that each time a person chooses community over convenience, it’s a tiny act of civic participation — and that they can design their journalism to help more people take those first steps. They will establish a new goalpost: connecting locals to one another and equipping them to make their cities places where they can thrive. They will begin to focus on serving the whole civic space.” 
-- Ariel Zirulnick, The Membership Puzzle Project

Gatherers have been thinking about what role journalism plays in the civic sphere—and how to act on these beliefs—since our beginnings. May 2021 be the year we expand journalism’s ability to do the same.

Alisha Savson, Gather community manager

Lightning Chats

Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study in our 30 minute chats. 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).

Call for topics: Is there a ‘sticky’ question you’d like Gather to host a discussion around? A 30-minute learning you’d love to share with Gatherers this year? A skill-based chat you’d like to see happen? Please share your idea with us and we’ll be in touch!

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Amanda Zamora for posting this on Slack! Check out the #jobsandinternships and #grantsandfunding Slack channels to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

Director of Events, The 19th*: “As Director of Events, you will have a knack for surfacing interviews and driving discussions that cut through the 24-hour news cycle with relevant and insightful perspectives on gender, politics and policy issues of interest to our audience.” Location: Open. Deadline: 2/5/21

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.
Hot Read"Vons, Pavilions to Fire 'Essential Workers,' Replace Drivers with Independent Contractors" by Mike Dickerson for Knock LA. (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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