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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:

  • SELF-CARE: Chaseedaw Giles and Melissa Daniels shared tips from their ONA talk.

  • JOB ALERT: Into social media and education? Chalkbeat has a job for you.

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Branching out into consulting, advice for a struggling Facebook group, and an identity and workplace culture ask related to SRCCON:LEAD.

  • HOT READ: "In historic shift, The Salt Lake Tribune gets IRS approval to become a nonprofit."

  • INTROS: Meet Kristine Villanueva, Audience Engagement Editor at the Center for Public Integrity.

Creating a culture of care at work

How can we as engaged journalists invest in our jobs while also protecting our personal lives and sense of balance? How can we create workplaces that respect staffers’ humanity and outside interests? 

In jobs and news cycles that are constantly demanding more (time, energy, skillset, etc.), how do we take care of ourselves? 

We asked those questions in a lightning chat last week with Chaseedaw Giles of Kaiser Health News and Melissa Daniels of The Desert Sun. They participated in an ONA session on self care and brought some of their tips to the Gather community. 

See the full replay on Gather. (As always, you need a login for that link to work. Request one here.)

Here are highlights:

What can bosses do to create an environment that respects boundaries and encourages care for the humans who work there?

  • Listen.
  • Encourage and invite communication around workload, time boundaries.
  • Lead by example with how you spend your time: care for yourself, set boundaries.
  • Get to know the folks you’re managing.
  • Be open and direct with staff about mental health - when you go to therapy, what the company’s insurance covers, etc.
  • Get to learn individual working styles and how you can support them.
  • Do you care about butt-in-seat time? When do you care, or when do you want your staff work the way they need to get things done? Clarify this and your team will be relieved to know the expectations.
  • Encourage your staff to “take back” any time they spend working outside of regular hours.
  • Don’t schedule any meetings for the last 1.5 hours on Friday.

What can journalists do to protect their own needs and emotional stability?
  • Put your self & community activities into your calendar - block off that time!
  • If you don’t have kids, you may feel compelled to volunteer for extra work. That’s a generous impulse, but your time off-the-clock is no less valuable than a parent’s!
  • If you took on too much work last week, own it and adjust this week.
  • Put boundaries on your social media time.
  • Walk; drink water; sleep.

Related reading: The Unspoken Complexity of Self-Care

What would you add to this list? How could your workplaces better support your own self-care? Join the conversation in our new #culturechange channel on Slack

Joy Mayer and Alisha Savon, Gather staff


Lightning Chats

Lightning chats are 30-minute video chats where we 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.

COMING SOON: A news organization’s archive is a goldmine of stories and information that can continue to delight and be of use to your audience. But how do you know what to keep sharing? And how can you manage a calendar of evergreen content? Stay tuned for a date for this chat, and weigh in on Slack with what you’d like to see covered.

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Caty Green for posting this job on Slack! Check out the #jobsandfunding Slack to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

Social Media Strategist, Chalkbeat: "Chalkbeat seeks a social media strategist to grow our audience, help develop and maintain online communities on- and off-platform, and advise our local and national bureaus on daily social best practices." Location: Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark, New York City, or a possibility for remote

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.
  • Branching out into consulting: Do you have advice for people hoping to pick up consulting gigs on the side? Or are you curious to learn from folks who have been there? Join the conversation on Slack.
  • Advice for a struggling Facebook group: How do you know how much love to give a group and when to call it quits, especially if your moderation time is limited? Join the conversation on Slack.
  • Could you use feedback on your work? Your Gather colleagues have been pretty generous with each other’s requests to look over projects (or resumes, or social campaigns, or newsletter ideas) and share observations and tips. Pick a channel on the Gather Slack (sign up here!) and go for it.
  • Identity and workplace culture: As part of a SRCCON LEAD session, Emma Carew Grovum and Candice Fortman are going to talk about workplaces that are just not designed for success — at least for some people. If you’ve faced a situation in which something about your identity has felt at odds with your organizational culture and would be willing to share your experience as they plan their session, let them know here.
  • Simplifying Slack: Do you find the growing Gather Slack workspace to be overwhelming? Julia Haslanger, moderator of our #orientation Slack channel, has tips for cutting down on noise (including leaving or muting channels you don't *really* need to tune into). Check out the advice on Slack
  • Hot Read: "In historic shift, The Salt Lake Tribune gets IRS approval to become a nonprofit" by Matt Canham at The Salt Lake Tribune. (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 Kristine Villanueva, this week's Featured Member.

Name: Kristine Villanueva

What you do: Audience engagement editor at the Center for Public Integrity

Why you’re on Gather: I found out about Gather while I was at CUNY for their social journalism program and was excited to know that there was a strong network of other journalists in engagement.

One thing you want to learn on Gather: I’m interested in learning more about how newsrooms are partnering with each other – and other kinds of partnerships that don’t include other newsrooms at all.

One thing you have to share on Gather: I’ve learned recently that doing this kind of work doesn’t always have to involve a grand investigation with all the bells and whistles. It’s all about finding ways – even little ones – to involve your audience. I noticed recently that our audience seemed interested in SCOTUS cases so I pitched a pop up newsletter. In our weekly newsletter, I asked people if they were interested in the idea through a survey. We got 50 responses that all said “yes.”

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: At my current gig, I’m helping our newsroom to think more about engagement earlier by building it in through the story pitch process. Since this is relatively new territory at Public Integrity, our digital team gets to build the strategy from the ground up. I love building, exploring and experimenting. If something doesn’t work, you can always pivot.

Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I got my first job in Newark, NJ doing communications and community outreach for a non-profit. I got increasingly pissed at how people in Newark were covered by larger media. And having graduated with a journalism degree from Rutgers, Newark, it blew my mind that community engagement and journalism could go hand in hand. I am also constantly inspired by any D.I.Y art or music scene – specifically organizers in the punk community, who are both artistically and politically involved in the world around them.

Would you rather give up social media or coffee for a week? I’d give up social media – there are other ways to get info, keep in touch and connect with people. Also, coffee is amazing.

Links for ways to connect with you.
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