Deeper reporting builds community
A summary of this module's contents
Tools and tips you can use to leverage your resources
It is one thing to decide you want to start a community Web site. And you probably did it out of passion — you either had things you wanted to say, or you thought that a particular story or topic wasn't getting the attention it needed, or you thought coverage by the "mainstream" media in your community just wasn't getting the job done.
Eventually, though, you might realize that revolutionizing coverage in your community might be easier if you had some help. You need to work smarter. You need to find some outside resources, even if you can't afford to buy them in traditional ways. (You also need to realize that you are not alone — virtually everyone who starts a CitMedia site is in the same boat.)
So, we've written this six-chapter online training module to provide some tools to help you cope with the challenges you're likely facing.
And not just any tools. You'll find a widget that will create a Census graphic based on a ZIP code a user chooses; you'll see real documents of media partnering agreements and writing workshops; and you'll watch videos of "crowdsourcing" experts.
The module is created by two news veterans who now devote their time to teaching the ever-evolving tools of the trade. One is Wendell Cochran, director of the Journalism Division at the School of Communication at American University. He brings 40 years of experience in print and online, with a specialty in both investigative reporting and in tracking campaign financing. The other is Amy Eisman, director of writing programs at SOC, a long-time editor who has devoted much of her time recently to teaching Web writing and presentation both in the classroom and in the newsroom.