For its report “Engaged Journalism,” Impact Architects spent months researching engagement practices at four organizations: Outlier Media, ProPublica, Free Press: News Voices, and McClatchy. Among its findings was a connection between engaged journalism and increased audience trust in journalists and journalism organizations.
This article explores ways in which journalists can immediately start applying the research to their newsrooms—as well as the need to develop measurement strategies. Just a reminder: Don’t expect instant gratification. Engaged journalism is a long-term investment.
Engagement requires resources, and organizations must begin to see measuring the impact of their work as a necessary part of the work to ensure that these resources are being appropriately and adequately allocating resources.
Beyond optimizing trust, the research points to the value of engaged journalism as good journalism:
It’s cultivating and listening to sources throughout the community, rather than in niche sectors or in the upper echelons of power. It’s producing hard-hitting, moving, and accurate stories that are relevant to community members and reflect their lived realities and meet their needs.