From Andrea Wenzel’s presentation, I was able to understand more of what engaged journalism actually is. She said engagement and solutions journalism go hand-in-hand, and after learning more about different engagement methods, I can see her point. Two particular engagement journalism networks that Dr. Wenzel presented stood out to me. I was very interested in Curious City and the Listening Post.
By presenting the two networks, I learned that face-to-face interaction with citizens in collaboration with trusted public partners such as libraries and recreational centers is one of the most effective ways to truly give audiences content they want. The idea of integrating audiences with my work has something I’ve been interested in, but the obstacles and misrepresentation that comes with it was always an issue that made me hesitant in trying. Dr. Wenzel provided a lot of helpful insight in order to get the most diverse and representative population possible by using methods like setting up physical signs with random questions on them and adding a phone number to call or text. This incorporates both physical and digital elements that helps establish a connection with people.
Establishing a connection with people is obviously vital for solutions and engagement journalism but I learned that that connection shouldn’t stop once the project or article is completed. In order to gain trust and keep a relationship sustainable for future reference, it’s important to follow up with the people who you’ve worked with in the past.