As we’ve worked with professional and student journalists trying to launch engagement projects over the past few months, we’ve developed a deep appreciation for the importance of having diversity of voices in news coverage. We have also been grappling with what the term “community engagement” means to each of us. Who is the “community” we’re reaching? What is “engagement” in journalism?
Today we’re launching our engagement blog as a way to highlight different approaches to community engagement across the country. Our goal here is to serve journalists trying to develop deeper relationships with their audiences, and we want to be a resource for how to integrate personal storytelling in reporting. In turn, we’re eager to invite you to share your projects and experiences with us through our Contact page.
So, what do we mean when we say “community engagement?”
As a bureau, we look closely at how the meaning changes across newsrooms, and we try to help break down what the term could possibly be.
For us, engagement is a way for members of a community to play an active role in the reporting process. It’s an invitation. It’s also a way for journalists to integrate everyday experiences into each story’s narrative.
Our mission is to understand the goals of our client newsrooms and then figure out how to support outreach and engagement projects to reach those goals.
We work together to make that happen. We help reach out to your audience and community to hear what people have to say about what you’re covering. We are all experts in our own experiences. The PIN Bureau offers tools and expertise to tap into that wisdom.
Sometimes we do that through the PIN query process. Sometimes we reach out directly to groups or individuals with stories to share. Sometimes we facilitate in-person or online discussions on topics our clients are covering.
Our queries and source database, along with your personal connections in your community, are jumping-off points. Our digital network complements your physical network.
Welcome! Thank you for engaging with us, as we launch our site and our bureau.
The PIN Bureau is based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix.