SXSW Interactive 2016

Let the People In: How to Democratize Local News


We believe everyone has a stake in the future of journalism. That’s why Free Press is applying the tools of community organizing to local news engagement. Our News Voices pilot project in New Jersey brings community leaders and residents together with media makers to explore the role journalism can and must play in helping communities shape their own futures. By treating residents as active partners, we're building a model where newsrooms respond to local needs and residents advocate for quality sustainable journalism in their hometowns. Our panel can speak from different perspectives -- as journalists and community organizers -- about how and why this approach works.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How can communities and news organizations work together to transform local journalism?
  2. What happens when "the people formerly known as the audience" become active participants in newsgathering and shaping the news agenda?
  3. What can journalism learn from community organizing?



Fiona Morgan, Journalism Program Dir, Free Press

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