A roadmap for working with defined journalism communities

Posted on December 21, 2010 by The Patterson Foundation

By Janet Coats

In 2011, our focus will be on enabling deeper network development within smaller, targeted journalism communities. We initially will focus on two targets: The Block by Block Community and the Journalism That Matters community.

The Block by Block Community

We should feel a great sense of pride and more than a little ownership in the Block by Block Community. This name describes the entrepreneurial community news publishers who attended the Block by Block News Summit in September and those like them.

Our financial support enabled travel scholarships for publishers who otherwise could not have afforded to attend.

Our road map for this community is as follows:

  • Establish a "listening post'' within the community to help us evaluate needs and opportunities.
  • Enable publishers to seek out those with similar problems and approaches so that they can share potential solutions and better practices. This will be accomplished by developing a typology of the community publishers.
  • Enable collaboration and communication tools for the community.
  • Identify better practices for sustainability and develop the learning/training methodology that can seed the field with those practices.

We have taken these steps to move forward on our road map:

  • "The Listening Post:" NMJ Advisory Committee
    We have recruited a committee of five community publishers and editors to work with us to help identify needs and opportunities.
  • "The Typology:" Community News Publishers Database
    The goal will be to create a searchable, mappable database, so that publishers can better network and share their work with each other. The database will be the keystone of a website for the community news publishers, where they can share ideas and problems with each other.
  • "The Collaboration Tools:" Community Management
    The community of publishers is widespread and diverse, and they use a variety of web and social media tools to talk about their work. The Patterson Foundation will fund a dedicated, part-time community manager, who will manage this dialogue and work with us to identify common themes and opportunities for tools and training.
  • Seeding the Field:" Training and Tools Development
    Training and tools development for this community is seriously lacking. Initially, we will focus most closely on sustainability and business model opportunities. What we learn through this process will help inform a second Block by Block Community News Summit in fall 2011.


Journalism That Matters Community

Unlike the Block by Block Community, Journalism That Matters (JTM) is a longstanding network, started in 2001. This network has been focused on cultivating strong interaction among journalists, educators, reformers and community members. The goal is to help professional journalists take full advantage of the emerging wave of citizen journalists to create a richer, more collaborative information source for communities.

Our roadmap for working with this community is as follows:

  • Identify how JTM would use the tool within their existing web infrastructure - how would it connect with its existing technology.
  • Identify and refine interaction goals for the JTM community.
  • Identify and refine content goals for the JTM community.
  • Develop a plan for building and sustaining relationships and interaction within the Journalism Accelerator.

See the full report

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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