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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:

  • GETTING STUFF DONE: Tips for integrating engagement into your newsroom's workflow. 

  • CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: A researcher wants to hear from US-based reporters and editors to talk about different ways to build trust in communities.

  • JOB ALERT: Twin Cities PBS is hiring for two audience engagement roles.

  • HOT READ: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press shares their initiative to support local newsrooms and journalists.

  • INTROS: Meet Laura Amico, Senior Editor at Harvard Business Review.

How to get stuff done: Let’s talk about workflow and communication

Engagement work often feels like culture work — like the biggest obstacle to getting stuff done is working within an organization that’s slow to change. Whether you’re a solo engagement practitioner or part of a larger team, you likely still need to operate within the larger team sport that is journalism.

Emma Carew Grovum and Kim Bui have worked on and managed more than a few engagement teams, and they shared tips for newsroom workflow and communication in a lightning chat last week. 

Watch a full video of the chat and read the notes on Gather. (As always, you need to be signed in for that link to work. Request a login here if you don’t have one.) 

Here are a few of the tips they shared.

  1. Be ready to describe what your engagement work involves and how you want to work with your colleagues. Consider creating a menu of options. Want to host a Reddit AMA? Put on an event? Start a Facebook group? We’d love to work with you, but here’s how much advance notice we’ll need and how much time it will require from you, dear reporter. Turn that into a worksheet or form that’s easily accessible. 
  2. Make sure that engagement work is reflected in newsroom processes. In your budgeting tools, project management systems and meeting structures, make engagement tasks and goals visible. 
  3. Do a lot of what Emma called “targeted eavesdropping.” Ask people what they’re working on constantly. As people figure out how to bring engagement strategies into their work, part of the job is identifying opportunities and inserting yourself into conversations. Go ahead — butt in. 
  4. Find allies. Accept that won’t bring everyone on board the New Idea Train, so focus on identifying a few people who welcome you into their work and can help you have some easy wins. Find collaborators outside the newsroom, too, to help you brainstorm and strategize. Kim has regular “scheming calls” with a colleague in another of her company’s newsrooms.  
  5. Celebrate your wins. If you want the newsroom to respect and appreciate what you offer, don’t be shy about documenting and sharing what you did and how it served your colleagues and your community.  

And for a bonus read on organizing your work life, check out this week’s edition of The Cohort newsletter from Poynter. In it, Becca Aaronson of Chalkbeat writes about prioritizing and breaking down silos.

Joy Mayer, Gather community manager

Call for study participants - Media Trust Project

A researcher from the University of Wisconsin wants to hear from reporters and editors in small, mid-sized or metro/regional/state US-based newsrooms to talk about different ways to build trust in communities.

There are two ways to participate:
  1. Fill out a 30-min survey for a $20 Amazon gift card.
  2. Sign up for a focus group at the Online News Association annual conference in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 13 (8 am and 10:15 am) or at the Newspaper Press Association conference in Milwaukee on Friday. Oct. 4 (TBD). These would be 90-minute sessions for a $50 gift card.
Interested? Learn more at the project's website or email Sue Robinson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with your name and news organization at

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:
  • TOMORROW Aug. 22, 2-2:30 pm ET // Why would someone come to your event? Before hosting an event, ask what your community will get out of it. This chat will focus on how to design an event with your potential participants in mind. Join hosts Tiney Ricciardi of the Dallas Morning News and Kristin Walters of Illinois Newsroom. Join us on Zoom for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.
  • Coming soon: Want to get the inside story of award-winning work? We’re organizing lightning chats with the finalists for ONA’s first-ever Gather Award for Engaged Journalism. 

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.

Twin Cities PBS is hiring for two engagement roles.

Audience Engagement Editor, Twin Cities PBS: “Twin Cities PBS (TPT) has an immediate opening for an Audience Engagement Editor to build deep, authentic connections with audiences, partners, and diverse communities who have not discovered our two leading service journalism sites yet — and This role plans, gathers, analyzes and shares out powerful, impactful stories that matter most to our audiences!"

Audience Engagement Manager, Twin Cities PBS: "Twin Cities PBS is seeking an Audience Engagement Manager to lead two service journalism sites — and As the key builder of relationships with our readers and viewers, our Audience Engagement Manager will set and execute digital engagement and distribution strategies that expand and foster loyalty with each of our audiences."

Community Updates

If you haven't joined the Gather Slack community, you're missing out on a lot of brainstorming, advice giving and collaboration. Seriously. We keep hearing from people who don’t know Gather has a Slack. Join here.
  • In-person events: A lively Slack conversation is looking at ideas for subscriber-only events and how they affect the relationship newsrooms have with their loyal audience members. Join the conversation in the #meetupsandevents channel on Slack
  • A guide from ProPublica: ProPublica has published a new guide to collaborative reporting. Rachel Glickhouse invited Gather folks to use it and contribute to it. You can find it here and comment on it on Slack.
  • Guest speakers: Adriana Lacy is teaching at class this fall in engaging diverse communities, and she put out a call for a few guest speakers. Join that thread on Slack. And instructors, feel free to use the #teachingandlearning channel anytime for requests like these.
  • Hot Read: "Local Legal Initiative" by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. (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.)

Meet Laura Amico, this week's Featured Member.

Name: Laura Amico

What you do: I'm a senior editor at Harvard Business Review, with a history in daily news and entrepreneurship.

Why you’re on Gather: For inspiration! I love work that puts audience first and try mightily to do as much of it as I can. I like to bring examples to my team to build support for and awareness of this type of work.

One thing you want to learn on Gather: Tools! I'm always looking for what I can bring to my boss and teammates that convinces them that not only is engagement REALLY good, but we can make it happen without breaking the budget.

One thing you have to share on Gather: I love to chat and am open to phone calls to get more in-depth. If you want to chew the fat about what you're working on, call me!

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: Working on new ideas. I just edited this piece that brought into focus for me how to begin innovation work. I'm sharing this all over the place because I think it provides a really good blueprint for anyone interested in exploring new ideas!

Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I started as a very traditional reporter and then I joined the Peace Corps and went to Madagascar. My community there helped me learn how to listen past my notebook. When I came back to journalism, I tried to build spaces for the audiences I was working with to feel ownership of what was being produced.

Would you rather watch a movie, read a book, or listen to a podcast? Cook a meal... beautiful and delicious food without the pressure of getting SOMETHING on the table before the kids start screaming.

Links for ways to connect with you:
Here on Gather, Twitter @LauraNorton and (regrettably) still on Facebook.
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