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Gallery-style events reach new crowds for less-known stories

An arty re-casting of podcast content helped NYLA reach beyond their usual listeners and their usual digital channels. Collaboration with civic organizations provided a footprint and access to their audiences. The exhibit drew more than 13,000 visitors and introduced the news organization beyond Lithuania's capital.

Nanook, a collective of Lithuanian journalists who focus on underreported topics, shook up their format of their weekly podcast and photoessay NYLA  with a gallery style installation of selected photos and audio. They partnered in the National Library in Vilnius and a community center in a small town for the public exhibitions designed to expand their audience through an unexpected format.

The motive was reach: the podcast’s downloads had plateaued at between 3,000 to 5,000 per episode, and the team wanted to test in-person events. By most measures, they did attract a wider, more diverse audience. More than 13,000 people visited the exhibit, many of them spending more than a half hour listening to the selected audio and viewing the photos.

Collaborations with the National Library and community center provided space and an excuse connect with a more diverse audience though those partners’ existing email, social, and outreach programs. Notably, the team chose a second site well off the beaten path, a notable strategy for geographies with gaping rural-urban divides.

Here’s the key play to steal: bring your work to spaces where people already spend time with partners they trust, even if they’re not traditionally for journalists.

As Karolis Vyšniauskas, NYLA podcast host and editor of Nanook said: “We found that journalism can affect you in a much more powerful way when it is presented in a not traditional space, such as a gallery.”