Community is central to Illinois Newsroom
Our process begins with listening — You Tell Us. Illinois Newsroom journalists live and work in towns and cities across the state and form deep roots in the communities we serve. Before we pick up our recorders, write a script or post to the web, we first build relationships with and listen to those communities.
Through online and in-person conversations and events, Illinois Newsroom invites the audiences we serve into the editorial process, with a goal of connecting and empowering communities across the state.
How can you make sure your voice is heard?
‘You Tell Us’
At the top of your screen, you see a box labeled “You Tell Us.” It invites you into the story development process and asks you to participate by proposing questions for potential coverage and then voting on those you’d like to see covered within Illinois Newsroom’s range of topics. This is one way for you to tell us what matters to you right now, connect directly to the stories that affect you and empower yourself to make change.
Designed to open dialogue with a broad range of community members, Community Conversations can be structured around specific issues and/or point to new areas for Illinois Newsroom journalists to explore. Past Conversations have proven extremely valuable in surfacing ideas for coverage, identifying sources with diverse perspectives and experiences, and leading to ongoing partnerships with schools, libraries and other organizations. In virtually every case, they have enabled our journalists to build relationships that would not otherwise have existed.
Youth Media Workshops
Illinois Newsroom is building relationships with Illinois high school classes and will invite students to take an active role in the editorial process by suggesting ideas and questions for potential coverage through the Hearken tools described above. Illinois Newsroom will also identify students who will be eligible to vote in the 2018 elections and will develop stories around the processes, messages and other factors that lead to their decision to vote or not. This gives students a voice while empowering them to actively participate in the democratic process. Participating classrooms will also participate in a youth media production summit at the University of Illinois. They will meet with journalists who took their ideas and turned them into stories and they will produce their own stories for digital distribution.
Public Engagement Events
Illinois Newsroom will create regional events around its key content areas, using formats including screenings, Town Halls, online chats and remote broadcasts. These events will be designed to connect communities with policy makers, experts, other community members and resources and provide them with actionable content.