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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:

  • ONLINE COMMUNITIES: Three things you can find on Reddit that will help your journalism.

  • CASE STUDY: Read how the Agora Journalism Center supported a city-wide conversation on housing.

  • FUNDING ALERT: The Engaged Journalism Accelerator has opened their second round of funding for European organizations.

  • HOT READ: Read about the newly created Membership in News Fund to encourage experimentation with membership models & learn about their open call.

  • INTROS: Meet Damon Kiesow, the Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing at Mizzou.

Doing Journalism on Reddit


This week’s lightning chat on Reddit for journalists drew a crowd and produced a lot of really useful tips and perspective. Thanks to our three hosts (names in bold below) for sharing their expertise.

Some of you are fluent in Reddit culture and customs, but we’re guessing more of you are not. Either way, this chat had something for you. We'll use this space to share a few highlights. 

Here are three things you can find on Reddit:

  1. People who care a lot about what you’re covering. Gene Park wrote a story for The Washington Post about the band Ninja Sex Party. How did he make sure that story found its built-in audience? The Ninja Sex Party subreddit, of course.  
     
  2. Thoughtful comments and questions. Yes, on the Internet. Seriously. (At least sometimes.) When a local police officer was involved in the fatal shooting of her neighbor, Dominick DiFurio and his colleagues at The Dallas Morning News hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with their boss. They invited questions about how they’d covered the tragedy. And what they heard were a lot of informed, sophisticated questions — about the case in general and about the decisions they’d made in their coverage.
     
  3. Thriving communities. Subreddits are full of people who are connecting with each other in fulfilling ways — and they’re not sitting around wishing a journalist would show up to make things more interesting. Don’t bulldoze your way into their party. Hang back and see how you might participate authentically and politely. And when you do, consider using the word I, even if you’re commenting from your brand account. That’s what Bobby Blanchard of The Texas Tribune recommends.
Read the notes and watch the 30-minute video on Gather. 

Note: As you know, the availability of public pages on Gather is a new feature and we’re working out the kinks. If you’re trying to deep-link to a non-public page and not logged in, you’ll get redirected on our public homepage without any significant prompts. Please login from the link at the top in the yellow box. Sorry for the temporary inconvenience.
 
— Joy Mayer, Gather community manager

Case Study: How the Agora Journalism Center Supported a City-Wide Conversation on Housing


By Andrew DeVigal

“One Issue, Many Perspectives” started as an experimental 12-month project in Portland, Oregon, to convene and capture conversation on a single issue — housing — from various perspectives. The participants in this project ranged from legacy to independent media, from ethnic media to communities of interest, and specific points in between. 

Rebranded to Open:Housing, we created a platform, a network, and a set of strategies aimed at strengthening the information ecosystem that supports civic engagement around housing issues. Journalists, housing advocates and experts, and Portland residents came together with a shared interest: to create inclusive, informed public conversations that drive solutions to the Portland region’s housing crisis.

Read the case study on Gather.

You can now publicly share the 91 case studies and featured projects on Gather with friends and colleagues. Take a look through, and then recommend projects you’d like to see us dig into.

Lightning Chats


Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study at Gather's lightning chats. You can also subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal.

From the archives // Teaching engagement: While we queue up our next lightning chat, revisit this conversation with educators about how engagement is being taught to journalism students … and how it SHOULD be taught. And while you’re at it, check out the #teachingandlearning channel on Slack for some helpful assignments and syllabi shared recently.

 

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. Here's what's new this week:
  • Engaged Journalism Accelerator, European Journalism Centre, News Integrity Initiative, Civil: "We are inviting news organisations from across Europe to submit an application for the Engaged Journalism Accelerator open call. Grant funding is available for between eight — 12 news organisations that will each receive €35k — €50k and will participate in a fantastic programme of activities until December 2019. The programme, which is supported by the News Integrity Initiative and Civil, provides mentorship, coaching, knowledge exchange, resources and events to help participants make the most of the Accelerator, and help them achieve their objectives." Learn more.


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.
  • Social media routines: If you manage brand social channels, how do you track and plan your posts? How often do you look at your metrics? And adjust your strategies? Tell us about your routine on Slack.
     
  • Live tweeting from events: How useful is the practice? Who’s paying attention? Should students learn how? Join the Slack conversation.
     
  • Engagement interns: Do you have an intern? If so, did you have to lobby for one? Or have you tried and failed to get one? Or have you *been* one? Join the Slack conversation.
     
  • Who’s on Gather? Gather’s People Directory provides a look at who we are as a community. Haven’t filled yours out yet? Hover over your name in the top right and go to Site Profile. And try looking for people who share your geography or interests! Among the completed profiles, here's a look at a few different ways to slice us:
    • 141 people involved in research and education
    • 46 Californians
    • 56 consultants
    • 77 freelancers
    • 126 folks who work in public media
    • 32 with a specialty in crowdfunding
    • 95 with a deep interest in diversity, equity and inclusion
       
  • Hot Read: "Announcing the Membership in News Fund to encourage global experimentation & the woman who will run it" by Emily Goligoski & Jay Rosen. (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 Damon Kiesow, this week's Featured Member.


Name: Damon Kiesow

What you do: After years working in product management and never having been able to adequately explain what I do to my mother, I can now safely say that I teach at the Missouri School of Journalism as the Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing.

Why you’re on Gather: Because of the large number of amazingly smart people who take part in the community. It is like Twitter, but with almost no Russian bots.

One thing you want to learn on Gather: This changes daily and it is more than one thing. The ‘big’ one thing is how do we change our organizations to be more responsive both to our community, and also our staff.

One thing you have to share on Gather: If you are making a sincere effort to listen to readers, understand your community’s needs and build/design/write/create solutions that help people be better citizens, you are on the right side of history.

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: There is always something new to learn, and always plenty of really engaged and brilliant people to learn it from.

Who or what inspired you to get into this work: I actually grew up in the hometown of Elijah Parish Lovejoy who was a journalist and abolitionist murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837 in Alton Ill.  I had many other influences, but that is the earliest connection I can remember.

Would you rather … (Damon combined several suggested prompts into one answer): I would rather read a book, while listening to a podcast and having a cup of coffee in the mountains.

Links for ways to connect with you. @dkiesow, kiesowd@missouri.edu
 
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