Course Description

Bettina Chang and Andrea Faye Hart share their ideas and techniques for practicing the type of journalism that repairs broken information systems, journalism that reports with communities, not on communities, and journalism that equips people to tell their own stories. 

Like Andrea says, “We think journalism is for everybody. If it's going to be a public good, it should look like the public.”

This lively lecture contains many real life examples from Andrea’s and Bettina’s work at City Bureau, including launching the Civic Reporting Fellowship, the Public Newsroom and the award-winning Documenters Program, where they train people to document public government meetings. 

Take this class whether you are a journalism student, a professional journalist or a member of the public curious to take a peek behind the scenes.

This video lecture is made possible by a generous grant from the News Integrity Initiative to "build enduring trust and mutual respect between newsrooms and the public through sustained listening, collaboration, and transparency." 

The series was filmed in the Newmark J-School studio in New York.

Video Lecturers

City Bureau

Bettina Chang and Andrea Faye Hart are two of the four co-founders of City Bureau, a non-profit civic journalism lab based on the South Side of Chicago. Founded in 2015, City Bureau brings journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce media that is impactful, equitable and responsive to the public. Andrea is the director of community engagement at City Bureau. She was previously at Free Spirit Media, where she created the non-profit organization's Real Chi Youth program. Bettina is the editorial director at City Bureau. She is the former executive digital editor of Chicago Magazine and also worked at DNAinfo Chicago, Pacific Standard and the education non-profit Supplies for Dreams. The other two co-founders of City Bureau are Darryl Holliday and Harry Backlund. City Bureau manages three programs: the Civic Reporting Fellowship, the Public Newsroom and the award-winning Documenters. City Bureau envisions a future in which all people are equipped with the tools and knowledge to effect change in their communities.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    1. THE PUBLIC NEWSROOM

    • Introduction

    • Links

  • 2

    2. THE EARLY YEARS

    • Meet Andrea

    • Meet Bettina

  • 3

    3. DREAMING AND SCHEMING

    • What the heck am I doing?

    • The spark

    • Start small and listen

    • The City Bureau model

    • Links

  • 4

    4. DIVERSIFY NEWSROOMS

    • Disrupt and repair

    • Case Study: Civic reporting fellowship

    • Step 1: Targeted recruiting

    • Step 2: Make diverse hires

    • Step 3: Frame the job

    • Step 4: Pay and mentor

    • Links

  • 5

    5. BUILD TRUST

    • The asset lens

    • "Objectivity is dead and I'm OK with it"

    • Case study: The Public Newsroom

    • Case study: Reporting on R. Kelly

    • Links

  • 6

    6. INFORM, ENGAGE, EQUIP

    • Bringing people into the process

    • Case study: Documenters Program

    • Case study: Field guide

    • Links

  • 7

    7. JOURNALISM AS A NECESSITY

    • Maslow's pyramid

    • Hierarchy of information needs

    • Case study: "After The Trial" zine

    • Links

  • 8

    8. IT'S YOUR TURN

    • Measure impact in new ways

    • Changing the system, thinking big but starting small

    • Don't neglect H.R.

    • Find your people

    • Links

    • Survey

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