What do journalists mean by engagement?


I was recently asked to write something about what Journalism That Matters has learned about engagement so that news organizations considering it can do so in a more informed way.

A continuum immediately formed in my mind that led to creating a table of different ways that engagement has been used by news organizations.

For access to the links in the table, click on the link below or on the table.

Link to table

When a colleague pointed me to the International Association of Public Participation’s (IAP2) “Spectrum of Engagement,” I knew I was on to something. IAP2 focuses on improving and supporting public participation practitioners by advancing and advocating for public participation. Their spectrum was remarkably complementary to my table! I added their goals to the table and offer this draft for comment. Some questions to consider:

· How might you use it as you consider engagement activities in your community?
· Do you have examples or approaches to add?
· Other dimensions would you like to see included?

If you’re considering bringing engagement to your newsroom and want to look beyond the panels and presentations that inform, but aren’t sure how, let’s talk!

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