Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study with Gather's lightning chats. You can also subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal. Here's what's coming up:
Wednesday, Oct. 17 // Reddit for Journalists: Let's talk about the when, the why and the how of using Reddit as part of our journalism. Bring your questions and experiences, and prepare to be guided by some super smart folks (fresh off a session on this at ONA last month).
Join us on Zoom at 1pm ET / 10am PT for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to get more connection details or add this to your Google Calendar
- Bobby Blanchard — Social Media Editor, The Texas Tribune
- Dominick DiFurio — Editor/Producer, The Dallas Morning News
- Gene Park — Embedded audience editor, Washington Post
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:
- Community Listening and Engagement Fund, Lenfest Institute: "The Community Listening and Engagement Fund (CLEF) is opening a third round of applications for newsroom, and is offering subsidies for an expanded suite of tools. CLEF will subsidize the costs for newsrooms to adopt the Coral Project’s Talk, DocumentCloud & MuckRock, and the Listening Post Collective’s training, information ecosystem assessments and consulting. These three organizations provide proven technology and consulting services that enable newsrooms to deepen their reporting and relationship with their communities.
CLEF is supported by the News Integrity Initiative, Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism ... U.S.-based newsrooms (or international newsrooms with a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor) are eligible to apply ... Grant amounts will be determined based on a number of criteria including newsroom size, need, and plans for how the tools will be used. Participating organizations will be required to cover a portion of their expenses, commit the time and personnel necessary to successfully integrate these tools into their editorial workflows, and participate in a study conducted by the Lenfest Institute on the efficacy of these engagement metrics." Learn more.
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 metrics: This month on Gather, we’re talking about social media as a tool for engagement. (Last week’s newsletter explained why.) This week’s callout: How does your organization measure success on social media? And are those indicators the same things that get you personally excited? In short, for you and for your org, what does it look like when social media works well? Join the conversation on Slack.
- Free inspiration: The #projects and #brainstorm channels on Slack have been especially full of fascinating conversations in the last week. If you want to see what cool engagement things people are working on and thinking about, take a look. And if Slack isn’t part of your regular routine, consider setting a reminder to stop by just once a week. We think you’ll be glad you did.
- Hot Read: "The Great Disconnect: How Journalists at Local and National Outlets Are Evolving Different Skill Sets" by Steve Myers. (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 Kristin Walters, this week's Featured Member.
Name: Kristin Walters
What you do: As Engagement Strategist for Illinois Newsroom (a public media RJC), I align the priorities of our statewide team of reporters with the priorities of the communities we serve. I increase the reach and relevance of our journalism and make sure information spreads throughout the populations it most affects. This work takes the form of community listening sessions, reporting-based events, and internal and external communication strategies that build a network of engaged journalists and communities.
Why you’re on Gather: Inspiration and efficiency. I don't want to waste time recreating the wheel — I want to adopt the best practices of my peers and work to adapt them to the communities I serve.
One thing you want to learn on Gather: How best to advocate for engagement in a legacy media setting.
One thing you have to share on Gather: Through community organizing and other past professional experiences, I have gained insight into what many kinds of institutions, businesses, and individuals value. Because of this I am particularly adept at creating strategic partnerships around shared goals and values, even between unlikely collaborators.
One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: Community change. I love when reporters' work contextualizes concepts in a way that really clicks for community members. Once community members have a better understanding of an issue, that's when they can more clearly figure out their path of action forward. Adding an event on top of this kind of reporting then connects the most interested and impassioned individuals to each other, and that's when the magic happens! Through my work I've seen new chapters of nonprofits open, teachers find solutions for their classroom struggles, and young voters become more confident and driven. It's a pleasure!
Who or what inspired you to get into this work? A close friend of mine inspired me to become more civically active in my town of Urbana, Illinois. I thought more critically about the community I wanted to live in and all the ways my town did and did not meet those requirements. With help from many neighbors and peers, my friend and I created community events that educated and inspired people to better engage in their community. Positive change happened and I was hooked! Becoming part of a newsroom meant more impact on topics like health and education which feels very important at this critical moment for Illinois and for the United States.
Would you rather give up social media or coffee for a week? Social media. Coffee helps my mind focus, and social media spreads my mind too thin. It's very difficult to weed out all the useless information on social media ... coffee for the win.
Links for ways to connect with you: