Citizens in the US lack access to important local news and information about health, education, jobs, housing, and more. The Listening Post Collective is a start-up initiative that offers mentorship, tools, and a shared online learning space to help journalists and community groups engage directly with their community. Two-way communication between media and citizens shapes local media content that is relevant, inclusive and highlights the voices of those typically excluded from media coverage.
As digital news grows, most gains are among sites with a national focus, not local news organizations. With shrinking revenue (leading to shrinking newsrooms), trends we've seen abroad are now in the US: systemic exclusion of local voices in the media, citizens unable to access useful local information, skewed representation of lower income neighborhoods, lack of citizen engagement with local media, hate speech online, and ultimately a decline in trust towards the news and media outlets.
Through mentoring, how-to resources and tools, and peer-to-peer support, the Listening Post Collective works with local journalists, information and media activists, and civil society groups around the US to strengthen their community engagement capacities at the local level, ensuring that citizens can access information and make their voices heard on essential topics like housing, jobs, healthcare, safety and security, the environment, and more.
Our first project in New Orleans connected with people from every neighborhood in the city and helped residents share experiences and questions around important topics with local leaders, and the city at large. We believe that listening to communities and providing relevant content at the local level will build back trust in media and create an environment that encourages civic participation and engagement across the U.S.