Thanks to everyone who joined us on June 15-16, 2015 for the 2nd national conference of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Our theme was Engage Local – and we looked at all the smart ways media organizations can use engagement to report the news, create brand loyalty, fund their enterprises and turn an active ear towards their communities.

The event kicked off on June 15 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with a Town Hall in which journalists, civic leaders, and the public talked about the issue of redevelopment in Newark. The event was part of the National Community and News Literacy Roundtables Project, a joint initiative of the American Society of News Editors, The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the News Literacy Project and the American Press Institute.

Watch the video below from the Newark Town Hall:

Day Two (June 16) took place across the street at the historic Robert Treat Hotel. Highlights included a lunch conversation between Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, and Merrill Brown, director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University.

Among the topics addressed during the day’s 20+ panels, presentations and breakout discussions were:

  • Community-Driven Journalism and the Art of Listening
  • Rethinking Revenue by Engaging Community
  • Civic Activism and Journalism: How to Wear Both Hats
  • Social Journalism and Responsibility
  • Engaging the Community in Times of Crisis

Among the 45+ presenters was Montclair-based filmmaker Julie Winokur, whose Kickstarter-funded engagement project “Bring it to the Table” is a model for political opponents to sit down and engage civilly.

The team behind WNYC’s Bored and Brilliant also delivered a case study on how they created the station’s most successful audience engagement campaign to date.

Steve Waldman also unveiled his plan to create a journalism program called “Report for America,” which is based on the Teach for America model. You can read the full report here.

Click here to view photos from the 2015 Engage Local Conference.

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