Summary of current initiatives
Coloradoan Conversations – The Coloradoan brought back their opinion page in the spring of 2022, with some assistance from DJP partners. Each week, they ask a question or two about local issues, and gather responses on their platform. To read the comments and offer your own, you do need to register (which is free and does not require a subscription). A CPD group helps analyze the responses, and the Coloradoan completes a “recap” story for many of the questions, summarizing key perspectives that emerged. Here is an editorial discussion the first year of those discussions, and here is a short video focused on the initiative.
The SCOOP events – On the third Wednesday of each month, the DJP hosts an event related to the project. The event is held from 6 to 7:30pm at the Old Town branch. Topics have included housing, journalism, polarization, misinformation, and others. The next SCOOP event will be held on April 19th at 6pm.
Reimagining Local Journalism discussions – In the spring of 2022, CPD Director Martin Carcasson developed a discussion guide for use by communities, and the CPD hosted online forums in April, May, and August using the document. The document includes a link to provide feedback and questions about the framework. Questions or comments can also be sent to CPD Director Martin Carcasson at email@example.com.
Responding to Mis-Information project. In the spring, the DJP hosted a webinar on addressing misinformation, and in the summer, participated in a project with the the Colorado News Collaborative (CoLab) and the DMNS’s Institute for Science and Policy, The CPD developed a viewpoints document to spark discussions on the issue, and then a broader National Issues Forum style discussion guide that lays out four approaches local communities could explore to address misinformation. An event was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in June 2022, and we continue to refine the documents. There was a discussion concerning addressing misinformation and having participants respond to the document through the Coloradoan Conversation process in March of 2023, and the SCOOP event that month was also focused on engaging the issue. The links to the documents above also provide opportunities for feedback and questions about the documents. Questions or comments can also be sent to CPD Director Martin Carcasson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated journalism and Honors classes and the NoCo Conversations Hub website – The NoCO Convos website is supported primarily by CSU Journalism instructor Jenny Fischer and students in her JTC 420 class or independent studies. The site will include original local reporting on local issues as well as highlighting reporting on key issues tied to the project. Our goal would be to serve as an aggregator of sorts, one place that residents can go to see connect to reporting from all the various media outlets in Northern Colorado.
Workgroups and Partnerships. As the DJP continues to develop, workgroups are forming to explore particular topics. CPD director Martin Carcasson formed a workgroup on the concept of deliberative journalism itself, as well as other innovative projects connecting local journalism and democracy. It will involve working journalists and journalism educators meeting monthly with deliberation practitioners and facilitators to explore connections in their work and develop new tools. You can contact Martin Carcasson at email@example.com if you are interested in that workgroup or what we are learning. Initial meetings are still being set.
DJP Core team member Andrea Purdy, a Spanish professor in the CSU Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cutlures, along with Journalism student Mary Cummings, has started to engage conversations with the Spanish speaking community in northern Colorado to better understand their preferences and concerns about local journalism. As highlighted in the six initial tasks discussed in the fall meetings, the DJP will have a particular focus on engaging a broad range of voices and making sure they are heard and involved, and this workgroup is focusing on the growing Hispanic audience. You can contact Andrea at Andrea.Purdy@ColoState.EDU if you are interested.
Initial Kickoff Meetings (Fall 2022)
The DJP hosted online meetings in the fall of 2022 to introduce the project to potential collaborators and the general public. The content shared during those meetings — including the background of the DJP and initial plans — are available on video. This video includes the introductory information, and this video has information presented during the meeting after an initial round of small group discussions.
The “Building Civic Capacity” Series (ongoing)
One of the key tasks announced in the fall was to find ways to build civic capacity to strengthen our local information ecosystem. Several opportunities are developing to support this task in the spring. On March, 2, 2022, the Straayer Center hosted an event on Local News and Civic Ecosystems that was co-sponsored by the CPD and DJP.
On March 21, 2022, we hosted our first webinar entitled, “How to Tackle Wicked Problems in Local Communities: Exploring the Potential of Deliberative Journalism” with an initial talk by CPD Director and DJP Core Team member Martin Carcasson, followed by panel of journalists and journalism educators. The video of the webinar is available here.
Our second webinar was held on Thursday, May 12. One of the key themes from the DJP meetings in the fall involved concerns about misinformation and trust, both in the sense of how to react to growing misinformation, as well as how claims of misinformation can be used to simply dismiss points of view. . It featured Dominic Stecula, Political Scientist at CSU, David Wolfgang from the Journalism and Media Communication Department, Katie Knobloch from the CPD and the Communication Studies Department, Rebecca Powell from the Coloradoan, and Annaclaire Crumpton from the Poudre River Library District. The video is available here.
Small Group Deliberations on Local Journalism were held March 23, 24, and 26, 2022. Flyer available here. During the fall meetings, we discussed that the DJP will often focus on doing deeper dives on particular issues, to really develop an understanding of the issue and provide the community with opportunities to engage. The first issue we are doing that with is journalism itself, building off our fall meetings. During the week of March 21st, the DJP and the CPD hosted several online small group discussions reacting to a National Issues Forum style discussion guide being developed by the CPD. The guide focuses on reimagining local journalism and talking through a broad range of potential ideas. We will likely schedule additional opportunities at a later time, but anyone can read the guide here, and click the link on the bottom of the first page of the guide to provide input on the guide. We will continuously work to refine and update the guide.
Community Updates. On February 9th, 2023, we hosted on online community update about the project overall.