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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:

  • ENGAGED ELECTIONS: Lessons from last week's chat on The Citizens Agenda.

  • GATHER SLACK: Apply for the Gather Mod Squad by this Friday!

  • JOB ALERT: One network manager job and one social media fellowship.

  • HOT READ: An op-ed dives into the plummeting tax rate for our nation's wealthiest.

  • INTROS: Meet Rachel Glickhouse, a journalist and the partner manager for ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project.

Imagine: Election coverage that’s truly audience-driven


Raise your hand if, after the 2016 election, your newsroom vowed to make changes in how you cover elections. Let me guess: You wanted less reliance on polls, with more focus on helping voters make decisions?

How’s that going? 

The trickiest part of deciding to stop doing something badly is often knowing what to do instead. What should useful, responsive election coverage look like?

One way forward was outlined in last week’s lightning chat by people involved in a project called The Citizens Agenda. (I’m involved in this project through my work with Trusting News — more on that below.) The premise of the project is that you ask your community this question: What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes? 

Ask everyone you can, not just your most loyal audience members. Invest in outreach, and listen well. Then publish what you hear — your Citizens Agenda — and use it to make coverage decisions and keep candidates accountable to the people they (and you) aim to serve. 

The project’s goals and frameworks were outlined in last week’s chat by Bridget Thoreson of Hearken, one of the organizations partnering on this project. Bridget was joined by Brittany Schock of Richland Source, whose newsroom is embarking on its own listening series. Brittany in the process of holding events in six parts of town to get input from her community. 

Another key partner on The Citizens Agenda is the Membership Puzzle Project, whose founder, Jay Rosen, has been proposing and writing about this idea since the 1990s. (It's always worth reminding ourselves that engaged journalism has a long, rich history!) And Trusting News is teaming up as well, because meaningful election coverage is a fantastic opportunity to build trust with communities and communicate the value of journalism. 

The key steps to The Citizens Agenda are outlined in the notes from the lightning chat, and the full video of the 30-minute chat is also linked there. (As usual, these links will work once you’re signed in to Gather. If you don’t have a login, request one here.) 

And to go straight to the source, download the Citizens Agenda Guide here

Joy Mayer, Gather community manager

Reminder: Apply for the Gather Mod Squad

The Gather Slack is growing, and with growth comes an opportunity for stewardship. Can you help? We are looking for volunteers to be part of the Gather Mod Squad, the members of which will be deputized to serve as hosts of specific Slack channels. You would help welcome new members, answer questions, moderate discussions and make connections. We’re accepting applications until Friday, Oct. 11. Read more details and apply here. Questions? Contact Joy Mayer on Slack or at joy.m.mayer@gmail.com.

 

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: 
  • 12-12:30 pm ET, Oct. 29: Self-care for engaged journalists // Let's talk about how to take care of ourselves while balancing a job that's constantly demanding more, an audience that has plenty to say and a news cycle that won't stop. Chaseedaw Giles of Kaiser Health News and Melissa Daniels of The Desert Sun will bring tips from their ONA session to this lightning chat. Join us on Zoom for a 30-minute conversation. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.
  

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.

Trust Network Manager, The Trust Project: “The Trust Network Manager serves as a core member of the Trust Project team, playing a critical role in building news partner engagement and supporting both technical and editorial compliance; gathering information to help further develop the work of the Trust Project; managing news partner events and gatherings; and executing important strategic collaborations for the Trust Project."

Social Media Engagement Fellow, Grist: "Grist’s social media look, feel, and voice are key parts of our unique brand of environmental journalism. The social media engagement fellow will help run Grist’s daily social media platforms and lead the effort to grow our social following. You will coordinate cover story and video promotion, grow our social swap partnerships, and generally drive Grist in its efforts to grow and engage with our audience." Location: Seattle or 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.
  • Information needs assessment: Olivia Henry used a Twitter thread last week to share highlights from the Listening Post Collective’s information needs assessment in the Fresno area, and it’s a master class in how to really listen to what a community needs. Read it on Twitter
     
  • Self-care: When it comes to taking care of yourself, what could you use the most help with? In preparation for an upcoming lightning chat (see above), chime in on Slack about what you hope we'll cover.
     
  • Q&A: A few other questions being asked on Slack now are on Instagram tools, workflows for social media teams and Gmail Ads.
     
  • Hot Read: "The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You" by Op-Ed columnist David Leonhardt at The New York Times. (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 Rachel Glickhouse, this week's Featured Member.


Name: Rachel Glickhouse

What you do: I run the Documenting Hate project at ProPublica and help with large-scale collaborations.

Why you’re on Gather: To learn about what's happening in the engagement space, hear about interesting new projects, use folks as a sounding board/get advice, share ProPublica's latest projects/products relevant to engagement journalists and find out about new job openings.

One thing you want to learn on Gather: What kind of engagement projects are working, and why?

One thing you have to share on Gather: We have a bunch of tools to help engagement journalists work together on projects, including a new tool for crowdsourced projects and a collaboration guide. https://www.propublica.org/nerds/making-collaborative-data-projects-easier-our-new-tool-collaborate-is-here

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: I get to work with journalists from newsrooms all over the country and help them do reporting, which is really gratifying since we get to spread the reach of our own journalism to other reporters.

Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I got into this type of work through the (now Newmark) CUNY Social Journalism program, and a crowd-powered project I worked on with Bobbie Johnson at Medium while I was in grad school.

Links for ways to connect with you. 
https://twitter.com/Riogringa
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-glickhouse-7032669

 
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