At City Bureau, we believe that journalism is not fundamentally a profession or an industry; it’s an act of citizenship, and our role is not simply to inform the public but to equip people to access the information they need to strengthen their communities.
… an asset- vs. deficit-oriented approach that can and should be applied to our work as journalists. This focus on the assets of communities — rather than its needs, deficits, or problems — is a shift in mindset that journalists can bring to their work on a daily basis when defining coverage.
I’m proposing a more unified vision for journalism here. As journalists, we’re great at informing, we’re getting better at engaging, but we’ve got a long way to go toward equipping. But I believe journalism that strengthens democracy will do all three.
I’ll offer a bit more definition here on what equipping is not. Equipping is not the same as empowerment because, much like the phrase “giving voice to the voiceless” assumes that people are voiceless, empowerment often assumes that people are powerless.