What we've been up to:
Welcome back and ☀️ happy summer! ☀️ We’ve been on a bit of newsletter hiatus due to the launch of new projects, embarking on phase two of existing projects and bringing new team members into the Listening Post Collective fold! We are excited to get you up to speed.

But first, so you remember what we’re all about, check out this Tweet:

LPC’s Program Manager, Carolyn Powers, shared this insight in her presentation to the newest class of Report for America Corps members in Houston, TX on June 11th. She encouraged RFA reporters to close the feedback loop with sources after a story is complete. She also advised them to hit the pavement early instead of hiding behind a computer screen.

This is the time when you are building your roots for the next year or two years,” says Powers.

Who's new and who's who:
Through our partnership with CLEF, we’ll be providing direct mentorship and support to five new newsrooms this year. These partners include: The War Horse, WDET, The Stand, The Conversation and Mississippi Today.

To provide direct mentorship and support, each CLEF partner has been assigned a coach. Along with Jesse Hardman, we have hired two other coaches!

Please welcome:

  • Angilee Shah is an entrepreneur, editor, reporter and teacher who builds great teams and great content. She spent six years as a founding editor for Global Nation, PRI’s The World coverage of immigration in the US. For The World, she spearheaded a successful campaign to bring 50 new contributors into public media — in a year.
    Angilee is coaching two ambitious and mission-driven organizations: the South Side Syracuse's community newspaper, The Stand, and The War Horse, which focuses its reporting on war from the perspective of military and veteran communities. Her goal is to help them take their passion for the communities they serve to new heights.

  • Rose Skelton is a British reporter, writer and media trainer who has spent fifteen years reporting in West Africa and working for media outlets including Reuters, the New York Times, the Sunday Times, the BBC, and the Guardian. She now works in media development for non-profit organizations, designing and teaching journalism fellowships across Africa, and mentoring investigative journalists on topics such as corruption, trade, and health. Rose is coaching The Conversation on its health reporting, with a focus on mental health, by facilitating community engagement with Atlanta, GA’s homeless population.

We also hired a Communications Consultant who will be with LPC until the end of December 2019.

An update from Olivia Henry on our comprehensive Information Ecosystem Assessment in Fresno, CA:

“Elders at the Cutler-Orosi Senior Center participate in a voting exercise as
a part of a listening session.” Photo: Juan Carlos Mosqueda Rosales.

A quick refresh on what the Fresno project is all about -
The LPC is working with a diverse group of media and community members to figure out how to sustain robust reporting and make sure that news is shared with working class areas of the city and surrounding rural areas.

Since you read this newsletter last, Olivia has interviewed more than 40 Fresno residents and surveyed 400 residents with the help of local hires:
  • Juan Carlos Mosqueda Rosales is an artist and community member from Cutler. He is coordinating Fresno’s listening efforts in rural Tulare, Fresno and Madera Counties.
  • Aaron Frisby is a Fresno-raised youth mentor and is leading the project in West Fresno.
  • Rocky Vang is a recent graduate of Edison High School in southwest Fresno and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall. He and Chali Lee, a junior at Clovis High School, are members of Fresno Boys & Men of Color.

The biggest takeaway from in-person interviews and surveys so far?
. Fresno residents care about youth development. In every community, people are asking for more information about programs and opportunities for kids.

You can read more Fresno updates here.

An update from Jesse Hardman on El Migrante:

  A Central American migrant reads his copy of El Migrante at a shelter in Baja, CA.
Photo: Jesse Hardman


A quick refresh on what the El Migrante project is all about -
El Migrante is a Spanish-language newswire for migrants on the US/Mexico border. It reports on legal rights, housing, jobs, education, and more. LPC crowdsources questions from migrants via in-person shelter visits and a dedicated WhatsApp group. We then take those queries to local, national, and international organization that can give accurately sourced answers.

What’s new -
Answers to migrants’ questions, profiles of individual migrants and instructive anecdotes are published in a printed bulletin delivered to migrant shelters and resource organizations. Bulletins are also distributed digitally via a PDF on WhatsApp. Our audio version of El Migrante is shared as a podcast on WhatsApp and played live to migrant audiences at shelters.

El Migrante’s latest bulletin reported on budget cuts for education and recreation opportunities for migrants at US detention centers, a lack of shelter space in the border town of Mexicali, and a push by civil society organizations in Mexico to register human rights violations against migrants. We also took migrants’ legal questions to an immigration lawyer in Tijuana, and we profiled a Honduran mother who had crossed into the US but was returned to Mexico for her asylum hearing.

Projects we ❤️ :

      Nico Gendron with           two of the students
       she worked with              during her 2018-19
         RJI Fellowship.
     Photo: Kaylin Burris


Two 2018-2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) Fellows at the Missouri School of Journalism were inspired by LPC’s allegiance to community listening and information needs assessments.  We’re super proud of these partners and encourage you to check out their work:

Madeleine Bair’s project, El Tímpano, is a text message reporting pilot that sends weekly texts with actionable news and  information designed to address Latino immigrants’ information needs in East Oakland, CA. The area is considered a media desert, particularly for immigrant residents, despite the fact that the Latino immigrant community has grown faster than any other city in the United States. El Tímpano and Bair’s final report were profiled by Harvard University’s Nieman Lab.

Nico Gendron’s project, Heartlander, gave rural Mid-Missouri high school students living in news deserts and attending high schools without student newspapers the opportunity to produce an original news story about their community. She also administered an information needs survey to better understand how rural Gen Z teenagers consume the news. Heartlander has been featured in the Atlantic’s “The Idea” newsletter, the American Press Institute newsletter and presented at Facebook News’ global all-hands meeting.

The Listening Post Collective provides journalists, newsroom leaders, and non-profits tools and advice to create meaningful conversations with their communities. We believe responsible reporting begins with listening. From there, media outlets and community organizations can create news stories that respond to people’s informational needs, reflect their lives, and enable them to make informed decisions.
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