How do you do community engagement?

“Effective sourcing, interviewing and storytelling, are interdependent, and like most elements of good journalism, they start with good questions. What do you want to know? Why does it matter and to whom? Ask these questions and listen. Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing relevancy, empathy, trust and transparency.”

—Linda Fantin, Director, Network Journalism and Innovation Public Insight Network | American Public Media

“Community engagement is about listening deeply to your users and community members to find out how to best serve them.”

—Dr. Michelle Ferrier Associate Dean for Innovation, Scripps College of Communication Ohio University

Solutions Journalism Network — Solutions journalism is a reporting model that investigates and explains credible responses to social problems. SJN is a non-profit organization.

Public Insight Network — Public Insight Network provides a vast repository of community expertise for journalists.

Fixes – Opinionator – — Fixes explores solutions to major social problems. Each week, it examines creative initiatives that can tell us about the difference between success and failure. It is written by David Bornstein, author of “How to Change the World,” and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, and Tina Rosenberg, contributing writer for The New York Times magazine and author of “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.”

Storytelling Tips | The Moth — The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. This short guide offers some key tips on keeping your audience engaged using nothing but your own voice.

A new explanatory journalism can be built on a strong foundation | Poynter. — Roy Peter Clark writes about the allure and principles of explanatory journalism.

Why the Future of Journalism Is in the Story of Solutions — YES! Magazine explains more about “Solutions Journalism” which they have been practicing for about 20 years.

A new kind of activist journalism: When finding solutions are part of journalists’ job, too » Nieman Journalism Lab — Jan Schaeffer of J-Lab writes on solutions journalism as a more welcoming evolution from the taboo of advocacy journalism. She sites “soft-advocacy” examples such as the is partnernship with WNYC to map widely disparate costs of mammograms in the New York region, PlanPhilly’s spotlight and policy work on delinquent property taxes in Philadelphia, Catalyst Chicago’s success on improving attendance at the city’s pre-school programs via series of public forums, and’s community work to improve the the South 2nd Street streetscape.

Civic engagement handout – Kettering Foundation — A quick primer and framework on approaches to solving public problems. Put together by the Kettering Foundation, which has worked since 1927 to answer the question: What does it take for democracy to work as it should?

Public Agenda — Public Agenda is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate divisive, complex issues and work together to find solutions.

Face to Face Engagement Practices

Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening : The Rockefeller Foundation — This guidebook is the result of a two year partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Monitor Institute. It is designed to help organizations make decisions that will: Determine whether or not to host a convening; Clarify a purpose for the convening that shapes all other decisions; Build an effective team; Curate an experience; Ensure follow through for impact.

The Appreciative Inquiry Commons — The “AI Commons” is a worldwide portal devoted to the fullest sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change.

The World Café — The World Cafe method is a social technology that is drawn from seven integrated design principles to build effective convening. 1) Set the Context 2) Create Hospitable Space 3) Explore Questions that Matter 4) Encourage Everyone’s Contribution 5) Connect Diverse Perspectives 6) Listen together for Patterns and Insights 7) Share Collective Discoveries.

Open Space Technology — Open Space Technology is an “unconference” facilitation framework that supports a diverse, even conflicted group to self-organize around what’s important to them.

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