Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Community engagement is a significant buzzword in the journalism/news media world today. Some people say it and mean digital community curation. Some people say it and mean social media management. Some people say it and mean in-person interactions with the community. My work in community engagement involves elements of all three things but it, and all the journalism I do, falls under what I call an "engagement ethos."

To me, at it's heart, community engagement means:

  • being where the community is at
  • communicating the way the community wants/needs
  • providing transparent public service to the community
  • reflecting the diversity of voices in the community

I've been studying community engagement since 2011, when I began independent study work with noted awesome journalist/engagement guru Joy Mayer at the University of Missouri, going on to be a part of the inaugural Community Outreach Team at the Columbia Missourian and the team's Assistant Director of Community Outreach for nearly two years. In 2013, I wrote my Master's thesis on how engagement editors assess the success of their work, uncovering the different motivations for doing community engagement work in newsrooms. 

Today, I imbue community engagement into my journalistic work in different ways: