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Engaged Journalism: Practices for Building Trust, Generating Revenue, and Fostering Civic EngagementJanuary 31, 2019
Across the news industry, organizations large and small, commercial and nonprofit, single issue and daily news are experimenting with "engagement": Audience engagement, engaged journalism, engagement editors and specialists, engaging for trust, and the list goes on. But what is engagement? Why are organizations experimenting with engagement, and to what effect? We set out to answer these questions through a four month research project where we surveyed the field to identify the practices organizations consider to be "engaged journalism," an inclusive practice that prioritizes the information needs and wants of the community members it serves, creates collaborative space for the audience in all aspects of the journalistic process, and is dedicated to building and preserving trusting relationships between journalists and the public. We then dove deep into four very different organizations to learn not only what they do, but why they engage with communities, as well as how they know if their strategies are having an impact.
In this report, we explore this question through the lens of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its explosive project, "Evicted and Abandoned," in which a collaborative reporting project of more than fifty reporters and fifteen organizations in twenty-one countries took on the World Bank. The investigation found that, over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people; that the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation have financed governments and companies accused of human rights violations; and that, from 2009 to 2013, World Bank Group lenders invested fifty billion dollars into projects graded with the highest risk for "irreversible or unprecedented" social or environmental impacts.
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