I assume that the idea of ‘letters to the editor’ was once a representative and effective means for news organizations to receive feedback from their community.
I’m not certain it remains so. For one, those can of course only be sent in for what has already been announced. I also get the sense not many reporters really listened or could gauge the preponderance of feedback.
The rise of quantitative surveying helps, though of course surveys are also not necessarily representative. We at Technically Media do our fair bit of surveying, after events and annually too. We also host regular curated groups of readers and (importantly) those we aspire to be readers of ours.
I was given a ‘Community Leadership Award‘ by the Friends of the Coalition, a young leaders group associated with the influential Urban Affairs Coalition.
Knowing UAC’s reputation, I would have already been proud, but I was also surrounded by impressive company. My longtime friend Helen Ubinas, an Inquirer columnist, also received an award. That’s us smiling together in the above photo.
In introducing me, Kevin Harden, Jr. cited my work over the last 10 years in local journalism and community organizing, with a special focus on our adding Generocity.org to our existing Technical.ly work. He thought Generocity’s work was of particular importance.
Thanks also to Brandon Johnson, Felicia Harris and the other Friends of Coalition members, and UAC Executive Director Sharmain Matlock-Turner and the entire UAC team.
Here are the simple remarks I jotted down and shared to a group of 100 or so, at a reception following UAC’s 50th annual breakfast.
In 2015, my company began publishing a second brand: Generocity.org, which aimed to offer beat reporting on nonprofit and mission work in local communities, starting in Philadelphia.
We’ve learned plenty. Last week we hosted ADVANCE, a pilot one-day conference for Generocity’s audience of nonprofit professionals. The aim was to feature case studies and concepts that would help the 100 attendees advance their mission careers. Our keynote was Kickstarter cofounder and former CEO Yancey Strickler, who has a new book on a more just economy.
I helped introduce the day by setting up what our reporting has taught us about our audience, and this growing community of future-thinking impact leaders. Though a modest start, I think it’s important we piloted this conference.
Geographically-focused acts of journalism are powerful. Professionals are increasingly rare because the business model that supported most of them has been supplanted. No one is doing the hard work of combating that. Let’s change it.
Following my journalism thinking essay, I’ve been looking to develop a more general-interest way to deliver the message. On Oct. 16, I gave my first try, at Ignite Philly, a local, volunteer-run outpost of a global confederation of big-idea events. (I spoke there in 2011 and 2013)
Find my notes and slides below, and I’ll add the video here when it’s eventually posted.
Powered by a decade of pursuing local news revenue models, I got together a few friends doing similar work and hosted a session during the 20th annual Online News Association conference, in New Orleans, on Thursday.
My big takeaway: journalism is a strategy, not an industry. Or put another way, it is an approach to competing in any number of business models. For local journalism to thrive in the future, we need to find and experiment there.
I was proud and charmed to be asked to address the spring 2019 Delaware graduating class ofIT Works, an impactful, if small, workforce development program from nonprofitTech Impact.
This cohort of 18 was the program’s largest so far, and in showing how powerful it is to give at-risk young people a free certificate program for tech support roles, they attracted enough friends and family that the audience was more than 100. The event was cheery, taking place inside the Wilmington offices of CapitalOne, a funder of the program.
You can read a version of my remarks here, or listen below (or download them here)