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. Here's what's coming up:
TODAY, Dec. 5, 2 pm ET // Gather welcome session: We have a consistent stream of new folks joining Gather, and the Gather staff and steering committee would like the chance to welcome you properly. Join us for an informal chat. We’ll briefly walk through the ways you can make the most of Gather, then we’ll have introductions and share ideas. We’ll toast each other with a cup of coffee (for our West Coast members), a glass of wine (for our European members) or any beverage of your choice! Anyone's welcome, no matter how long you've been a part of Gather. Join us on Zoom at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT on Dec. 5 for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2 pm ET // What does "local" mean?: How do local communities define themselves? How do news outlets define their audiences? And how do journalists know what’s important to their audiences and what niche they can fill? A recent report is a useful jumping off point for discussion of those questions. Start here: Journalism Conundrum - Perceiving Location and Geographic Space Norms and Values, then join the report's author and others for a conversation. Conversation hosts:
Join us on Zoom at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT on Dec. 12 for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.
- Amy Schmitz Weiss, associate professor at San Diego State University
- Jesse Hardman, founder, Listening Post Collective
- Madeleine Bair, founding director, El Timpano
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:
- Audience Engagement Editor (Food), LA Times: "The Los Angeles Times is looking for an audience engagement editor who is passionate and knowledgeable about the L.A. food scene to join our multi-platform editing team and to grow audience for our Food journalism. Responsibilities include managing the LA Times Food social media accounts, creating videos and photos for social media, and creating an engagement plan for the Food section." 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.
Meet Simon Galperin, this week's Featured Member.
Name: Simon Galperin
What you do: I’m the Customer Success Lead at GroundSource and the Director of the Community Info Coop! At GroundSource, I get to support change makers in newsrooms and other community-centered organizations by coaching them on our engagement tech and consulting them on their community strategy. The Community Info Coop is my side thang where I run the info districts initiative as well as a few other projects.
Why you’re on Gather: It’s a group of people who are a collective engine for change in journalism, and I’m trying to figure out how I can help people doing this work.
One thing you want to learn on Gather: I’d love to hear about folks’ personal strategies for success in their work or life. I don’t mean ways people are effectively reaching and engaging a community but what folks are doing to be happy, healthy, and successful.
One thing you have to share on Gather: I feel like many of us who are drawn to this sort of work see it as restorative. And we know that products cannot be restorative if processes aren’t. So I want to share that its okay that sometimes we don’t know where we’re going – what the product or outcome might be. Or that we’re stuck communicating the value of this work with metrics from the last century. It’s okay to be unsure of the product because we’re so sure of the power of this process.
One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: I’m really thankful for how much cross pollination I get to do. I feel like I get to learn from everybody for everybody and I fucking love it.
Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I wanted to be a foreign correspondent. I traveled abroad as an undergrad to study peace and conflict, Arabic, and wildlife ecology. I ran outdoor education trips. I was an EMT. All in preparation for what I thought I wanted to do after college: stand in front of a camera near a war zone in khakis and a black polo, reporting on the latest humanitarian crisis. I’m really thankful that plan didn’t work out.
I really think I’m in this work because of the people and community that raised me. I'm an immigrant that had great public schools for the entirety of my education and a relatively steady two-parent household (plus a live-in grandma!). My very first journalism professor at Rutgers University was Robert Montemayor, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1984 for reporting that challenged negative public narratives about Latinos in Southern California. He taught me that journalism is about making power accountable no matter what power wants.
Other professors taught me more about wealth, power, media, and colonialism. I launched a hyperlocal as an undergrad to challenge the legacy student paper. After Rutgers, I did some contract work before attending the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism’s social journalism program, where I had every opportunity I could have imagined.
Along the way I racked up six figures worth of student debt, which played a huge role in leading me towards this sort of collectivist work.
Would you rather talk about something personal or listen to something personal? I’d rather talk about something personal because listening is hard to do.
Links for ways to connect with you.