Global Street Fight 2019: Transforming Newsrooms by Pivoting from Fear-Based Journalism

Global Street Fight 2019: Transforming Newsrooms by Pivoting from Fear-Based Journalism



I'm so excited to lead this conversation with Liza gross and before I introduce Liza and let her talk a bit about her organization I just have to say that already the conversation Rachel and Eddie had and the conversation Steve had is so highly relevant we're kind of talking amongst ourselves so Eddie when you talked about the question of who holds trust when delivering a message is highly relevant to what we're about to talk about and then what Steve was saying in terms of the different areas of storytelling and and and really picking that apart in a more nuanced way and thinking about it from the journalistic Enterprise is very powerful so you all have the name of the session and you've seen Liza's name I I want I'll let you read her bio in the program guide but I will say that she has sat in last areas career as a journalist in journalism and leading journalistic organizations such as the Miami Herald and also in multiple languages both English and Spanish which is very important as our society increases in diversity and points of view and as we engage with that more and more in our own organizations and truly more meaningful ways so I love that perspective but now she's a vice president and new newsroom practice change at solutions journalism network so Liza welcome today and I think it would be important for you to do some context setting to let our organization understand here what it is that solutions journalism Network is I will be happy to do that thank you thank you very much for joining us and thank you very much for the invitation when Mary buhay got in touch with me to ask me if I wanted to speak here I said how can I resist a meeting called global street fight I'm there so the solutions journalism network has been now alive for about six years and was started by two journalists David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg and I only mentioned their names because they author every week the fixes column in The New York Times digital edition if you want to take a look at that they had started thinking and of course these are authors Pulitzer Prize winners and they have started thinking particularly Tina who covered a lot of conflict around the world in Latin America first and then in Eastern Europe there has to be more to just revealing the awful things and keeping an eye only on the awful things what do we do what is our place in the world as storytellers and so they came up with solutions journalism the definition that we work with is covering societal problems not only by describing the problem but equally rigorously focusing on the responses to these problems and they launched the fixes column and then they said well why only us we need to we need a plan for world domination so they launched solutions journalism Network and our mission our only mission I joined them surely before they started is to legitimize and spread the practice of solutions journalism among your peers among our news professionals but also to have the news consumer being perfectly aware that this is as legitimate as your investigative reporting your interview and make it a part of their news diet I have to share an anecdote I think I mentioned this to you on the phone when I was growing up in the 70s every Sunday night my parents would say oh we got to get the dishes done we got to get ready because ain't it awful is about to come on TV and so I was like oh yeah ain't it awful ain't it awful is coming on every Sunday night at 8 o'clock on CBS does anyone know what show that is 60 minutes yes I thought 60 minutes was named 8:00 an awful for my entire childhood I found the word 16 minutes in the ticking clock but when we started to talk I was like what a microcosm of what we're talking about here and I think at that time and for those are were familiar with the history of 60 minutes the 70s into the 80s was a time of increased sensationalism on that show and really what more fun it is than to watch people get chased down the street from a hidden camera but there was a very specific decision made by Don Hewitt at one point to cut that off and stop that sensationalistic enterprise but that it's it's an interesting moment here to kind of deal with the fact that that old adage of if it bleeds it leads I mean that's been pervasive that throughout journalism has always struggled with this throughout its history wouldn't you say Liza yes and of course it goes back to the history of journalism in the 19th century and even before that with the penny press and and it's still the tradition in many parts in Latin America for example just loves your bleeding corpse on the cover of a you know on the front page of a newspaper they still do but it is true especially after Watergate where the idea of being your heart charging gotcha investigative person that only focused on what everybody was doing wrong kind of took us away from from what had been another approach previously if one goes to the foundational statements of folks like Colonel McCormack in Chicago for the Chicago Tribune or Colonel table Colonels I don't know if they were current from the army or just on an horrific but Colonel Taylor and Boston with the Boston Globe and in the Houston Chronicle and if you look at their statements it had to do with providing information for the welfare of the community helping foster a dialogue so that this community can make better decisions thinking of journalism as a service to improve the direction in which the community was going and that somehow we got away from that for different reasons in different platforms I mean television because it saw the value of the big of blood or the big fire of the spectacular explosion and you know legacy newspapers because they saw the value in investigative and my last her role in active journalism was as managing editor of the Miami Herald and this was the emblematic gotcha paper if it was not something that we had to criticize then it wasn't news whenever my investigative team came in as well we have an idea for an investigator great corruption again I mean in Miami that's like talking you know beaches in Miami it's like what beyond that are there are other things that we could be looking at legitimately and yes highlighting what's wrong but also what what after that and it is true that there are emblematic investigations that have changed the course of history Watergate did spotlight did with the investigation of the Catholic Church but I can tell you I am here to tell you that easily eight out of ten investigative pieces by legacy news organizations in this country have yielded nothing because audiences became in newer to this more of the same they did not engage with it they do not engage when there's plenty of evidence we were faced with report after report first for me at the Chicago Tribune then at the Miami Herald and then of course talking about this with my fellow newsroom managers and yet we insisted on this relentless barrage of negativity and it drew us away further further away accompanied by a lack of direct engagement with our audience if any of you ever visited a website of a newspaper finding the email or the telephone of a reporter is like finding or if you're a PR person so lies and there's there's sit by the way you can probably tell from this there's a million directions we can go here and I really hope you guys are forming some awesome questions because this connects with about everything that I can think of right now but I want to I want to jump into this question of disengagement right and then I'd like to talk about that example we discussed regarding climate change and getting another that you mentioned so we understand now and we see the stat on the screen the stress of news the disengagement is shutting down which by the way relates very much to the public discourse that we are a part of in our country no matter how you feel politically no matter how you feel it's a very very difficult time to engage in conversations so first of all let me ask you a two-part question one is what is that cost of disengagement if the premise is that the relentless barrage of negativity just kind of shuts people down from engaging in whatever media outlet and by the way that can mean social – yes what is the cost of that disengagement for the person for society for a community and then give us that example of something like a climate change because we have many people here engaged in those kind of topics yes climate change is a perfect example of this the coverage is constantly negative constantly on the brink of disaster or in the disaster already or nothing can be done about it now a lot of this is true it is not that solutions journalism suggests that you should ignore what is actually happening but it is also true that there are a number of responses to this all over the world that are underreported that are not highlighted and that are rejected by journalists in favor of the other story and the climate change movement not journalists covering it but the climate change movement has also been guilty of this in its anxiety to engage the public with this very real threat that we're facing it backfires with the opposite effect because by pointing out constantly how we're all going over the edge in five minutes folks disengage and this happen on a variety at the community level at the state level this engagement in politics for example like a faith in your voting system we have a number of partners now solutions journalism net we're working on as you can imagine because of the upcoming elections working on the integrity of our electoral systems ballot boxes and all of that type voting by mail and for every story that looks at what is being done and a lot is being done we work with over 200 partners at the moment in the United States news outlets not counting independent journalists that are embracing solutions journalism for every story that points to what is being done in certain communities to address or at the state level at the local level at the county level there's half a dozen or more highlighting what is not working but worse than that not only highlighting what is not working but not offering alternatives not telling the whole story you know we talk about journalism should depict what is and at solutions journalism we describe ourselves as depicting the whole story because depicting only what is wrong is not telling the whole story we feel that the real journalism is when you go this step further and offer the alternatives for what is being considered to address this crisis or whatever crisis so you're working with many different types of media let's do any of them names that you know large newspaper organizations magazines online/offline when you are approaching a media outlet and it's very interesting again to hear Eddie from memo talking about the dialogue he's having with publishers from the editorial side when we hear about the idea of storytelling and brands how those conversations when you're approaching a large media organization and you're describing this what is it that you say to them how do you frame this for them in terms of what's at stake for themselves and also I mean you've said some of it already in terms of what this enterprise might be and how we got away from it and and certainly we know in broadcast news local news you look at clutter studies if you have a half hour news broadcast you might only have 16 to 17 minutes our association of national advertisers to track this of actual news and how much of that is the fire the murder etc but how do you frame it for them and what is the reaction you've been hearing from them in terms of how this responds to the the world that they're living in right now right initially I called my friends because nobody knew what solutions journalism was and I joined South Australia's AM Network and would say to this managing editor to that station manager you are going to do this I have some money but you're going to do this because I need you to produce some content with a solutions perspective five years into this or six years into this they call us because they have seen the value of solutions journalism interestingly enough there was I started crisscross in the country evangelizing about solutions journalist and there were many editors managing editors station managers that were on a solution request they felt that there was there had to be something more and what we brought was the recipe basically put two eggs solutions journalism and then you get the cake so it was it's absolutely delicious it results in increased audience engagement and even monetization so you can sell that cake that's exactly right so we work with every kind of news organization the only requirement is that they want to embrace solutions journalism we're very mindful to have a mix we have from your New York Times your BBC's your Christian Science Monitor The Guardian has an extensive solutions journalism program that they developed on their own after you know conversations with us to your tiny startups to your community newspapers or radio stations the toughest nut to crack has been local commercial TV in part because they don't see yet the monetary value in it because they are still making money with the bleeding corpses so they don't feel that they need to think about something else newspapers legacy newspapers have had a much tougher road to hoe so in part necessity is the mother of invention so they have had to look at other things but now we're actually working with about 17 local TV stations to infuse solutions journalism in their coverage and we've heard all the excuses even from folks that want to do it or even from the news outlets that want to read first of all you have to have the leadership by yeah because it's not going to happen if one reporter wants to do it and you have to be prepared to change your entire mindset about how you focus on the news and what do you think is news and how do you want to bring your news to your audiences and who is your audience everyone has a lot of underserved segments of the of the community that need to be heard and you have not been bringing information to them in the way you should have that's a beautiful bridge to when Liza know we're having our initial call with Mary obviously it's kind of like what is it who are you working with give me an example of it in action she provided one example to me that was very very powerful and I think when I share it you'll understand why this is a microcosm of everything we as humans and this I need to grapple with right now it was a story of the community of Somali people in Minneapolis and feelings about fear and both on both sides about radicalization about which is both imagined and also actually happening as we've heard but there was an interesting story you shared about how solutions journalism can help to intervene to change perceptions about a community but also within a community that's feeling highly isolated can you talk a little bit about that because it really struck me absolutely I mean the beauty of solutions journalism is that it creates an open-ended dialogue around an issue with your audience when you focus only on what's wrong it when cannot be fixed well that's a closed loop there is nowhere to go from there but solutions journalism creates a dialogue in this case the Minneapolis star-tribune wanted to look into the radicalization of the Somali community they were the target of Isis recruitment at that time a very isolated community not at all integrated into the mainstream so they decided that they wanted to try solutions journalism of this how to cover the D radicalization efforts in Minneapolis and there the first reaction they met with was rejection on the part of the Somali community why are you coming here you only report on us to say that we are terrorists well why should we talk to you it's important to know that many minority communities in this country not only don't view your influential or your main news sources as something that does not represent and they actively use them as hostile to them and completely out of tune with what they are and what they are doing but the Minneapolis star-tribune persistent and they actually hired a reporter too that spoke Somali to be able to better broaden and deepen their coverage and they did they accompanied this is another characteristic of solutions journey and they accompanied the coverage with a very robust audience engagement they held town hall meetings they met with elders they participated in festivities of the Somali community they invited other you know communities or other segments of Minneapolis to go and participate of these events so they generated a whole conversation around this both on social media and in-person events and the basis of all of this was their reporting that's why Solutions journalism played the key part there so a few months into this they completely changed the conversation and they also learned a lot of things are along the way they had to change their mindset they had to understand that they had not been doing this right how for example this was a very funny episode they had published what they thought was a wonderful piece and there were no comments at all on this under Minneapolis star-tribune side and they felt very crestfallen my gosh you know here we are and they found that a couple of weeks later that one of the elders of the Somali community had picked up this piece and had had a robust discussion on the Facebook page so his Facebook page not the Minneapolis star-tribune so the conversation had happened he says it hadn't happened where the Minneapolis star-tribune thought it was happening but they were having influence and so they had to learn how does information flow in a community how connected and how how in tune are you with the way in which news percolates and it's discussed and people engage with it or not and by the way for all of us trying to examine issues of equity and inclusiveness and multiple perspectives within our own organizations the case you just shared is also a case in sort of radical immersion in what inclusion really means and you confronting your own biases confirmation bias is a very very challenging thing I'd he mentioned it earlier and it's probably one of the most challenging aspects of communicators jobs today whether you're a journalist a PR person etc which is that that tendency that psychology is document again again and we are deep in it right now of entrenching your views in the face of facts and rejecting facts to the point where you might be like they're fake so I think it's very interesting all of these questions about our efforts to understand our own biases our efforts to step outside of our box another example we won't have time to talk about it now but there's a multiple multiple media outlet effort that lies those teams involved in in Philadelphia with many consortium of media outlets regarding the re-entry of prior incarcerated persons into society and examining first of all how is the you know there's a whole universe there in terms of the prison system and and how it is structured in structural injustice there but then also assumptions about those individuals the failure of how they're supported back so I encourage anybody who's interested in those kind of issues to ask Liza but I want to quote something you said to me because this is really gets to the heart of it we are trying to foster connection and communication in whatever way every person I look around those I know those I don't that's what we're trying to do and it is difficult and you said it quotes me on the phone constructive meaning constructive dialogue constructive process does not always mean comfortable Wow so important can you speak to what you mean by that yes both Deena and David as soon as they launched solutions journalism Network they realized that solutions journalism was a very inept name for this enterprise there was more like solutions I mean more like responses not necessarily solutions and some of these responses could be a hundred percent successful others could be 70 percent successful others perhaps work with this side of the room but did not work with this side of the room so discussing the limitation of the responses was also part an integral part of the rigorous reporting but when one he solution when immediately goes to whoo-whoo you know puffery pink and bells and and that white washing it over that's exactly right it's like a puff pieces exactly and we get confronted with that a lot or advocacy a lot of our more skeptical news colleagues tell as well how do you know which one is the best solution and by highlighting one are into advocate advocating for this solution or aren't you giving PR too aren't you acting as a PR agent for the initiative or the program and so our response is no first of all you don't need to highlight only one response you can highlight more than one there's plenty of people that are doing it better so print your organization's or plenty of programs in my five years and working with over 200 outlets not one on any topic health education even human traffic this was the Christian Science Monitor has failed to find responses that were working so you don't need to be an advocate for one it doesn't have to be the solution you can profile more than one so the responses is what we want to highlight with all that with all their limitations and with their pluses and their evidence of success and this is what depolarizes the dialogue when you go into the nuance into I mean Steve was talking about the storytelling I call it a telenovela of it that's the important piece you know why do people go back and go back to the telenovela because it's the tension it's the how-to it's the journey that matters everybody here has seen a James Bond film and when he's hanging from the cliff with one finger and they're alligators down there you know he's going to live they need him for the next movie but what you're interested in is how does he get out of this and so to that point it's the how to that's the hallmark of solutions journalism who is doing it better and how are they doing it and this automatically sort of depolarize you know depolarizes the dialogue because you're not saying oh you public official did not do this and you are incompetent but look this has not been addressed in this community but in this other community it has been addressed and here's how it's working let's discuss and that's the point of solutions just interesting in all of our organizations that any kind of human society it's so easy for us to follow susceptible to us versus them thinking it's one of the easiest things of all to do and for so many reasons but it resonates in so many ways but that idea of how do you create either curiosity engagement compassion empathy connection a sense of seeing one's self and the others argument even if you may never agree with it I mean I think that there's two things we're embarking on a long painful presidential election cycle which is filled with sound and fury often signifying nothing you know I always joke like there's nothing like a lot of the coverage of the stock market is like it's up it's down whatever and there's a lot of noise noise noise coming up to an election cycle and how do you keep people engaged how do you people from shutting down ferment where do you show them the relevance to them I mean one one question and I was sort of hardened by our first session today in terms of talking about we've had an arc away from trust and sort of what we understand to be traditional media and now maybe as we understand just how much we've been gamed how much behavioral engineering has been going on through online channels through manipulating us in our own emotions maybe that pendulum is swinging back to building trust in media institutions that's a really hard question how are you feeling about that question of trust in media today and how this can help repair that to the extent that the media should earn that trust yes we are deeply involved in this and I will take first the issue of political coverage and campaign coverage and this is not a new thing I mean I've been going to journalism conferences for the past 25 years and every election year we discuss the same thing how can we get away from the racehorse coverage you know the horse race or whatever how can we just stop focusing on the pole today and the poll tomorrow and go back and every year we have panels on how we should be doing this and the next election cycle we verify that we have not done it that's correct so solutions journalism offers an alternative with that we have an initiative running now called renewing democracy it's funded by a number of philanthropic foundations and the we are working very hard with our partners there to have them move away from that and focus on other things like the integrity of the voting process like looking at the issues I was just in Latin America because it's not as it's good to know that I was just in Latin America giving a workshop and the journal is from Venezuela was saying if you look at the coverage of Venezuela right now you would think that there's only two people living in the country Malu wrong way though and there's nobody else and that's exactly 40 45 more million people live in the air but the narrative is just so personalized in such a destructive way and it's the same here just this morning I was watching Morning Joe and it was in one corner Trump in the other corner Biden and here and this is not conducive at all don't get me started what I think the national coverage is because I would like to focus more on what can we do at the local levels because we feel that solutions journalism Network that that's where the energy is at if we are going to see this rebuilding of trust one has to start from the bottom up and we are seeing many many encouraging signs with news organizations that serve communities however you want to call that you know in less densely populated areas maybe it's a county maybe it's the Rust Belt maybe Philadelphia of course the community in itself so that the local journalism is what where the energy is and where the rebuilding trust is at and I was sharing with Ann I was on a panel recently with John Mooney for those of you who are from New Jersey John is a very experienced reporter formerly from the Newark star-ledger and then founded spotlight New Jersey digital startup about eight or nine years ago with other refugees from understanded and he was asked about fake news and and lack of trust and how was spotlight New Jersey dealing with it as well in fact you know an interesting phenomenon is occurring it's exactly the opposite people come to me and tell me if you printed we believe it because we have trust in what you are saying as a news organization so we're seeing like John and it is an anecdote but definitely I am seeing it across the country winning at the local level you are seeing a number of digital startups legacy newsrooms like the Minneapolis star-tribune Dallas Morning News is doing a good job with that Texas Tribune is doing an excellent job in Austin Cal matters in the West Coast's on this side the Philadelphia collaborative which includes legacy newsrooms like The Enquirer and digital startup and you know tiny ethnic outlets like El Sol radio Hispanic spanish-language radio station so you are seeing that and I think that that's where you know that's where the energy that's where the focus for those of you who are steering brands were steering messages that's where I think that the opportunity lies because yes it's important to have a story in The New York Times a lot of people read the New York Times but a lot more people don't read any of them I want to make sure we have time for questions because I'm sure there are some really great ones in the audience given who this audience is but I also want to connect the dots here that no surprise and I mentioned this to you many of the organizations in this room and the agencies that support them are creating not just content word they're creating stories they're telling stories they're sharing news the channels today allow us to do that and I think I'm not sure if you have an opinion on that Liza because it's it's connecting the dots between the world of the journalistic enterprise and then all the rest of us who become media in our own right I mean we many of the organizations I know in this room have many many stories to tell you know Memorial sloan-kettering many others here Coldwell Banker the stories of home the stories of health the stories of technology was signify in the room and mentioned lore there there's so many companies here that are not just trying to shill something they're trying to really share a product and a story and experience and they're using their own channels and there are many hired journalists so do you see before we open up to the group how do you feel that they should be thinking about the lens that you're presenting mm-hmm I will probably have to go into the witness protection program after saying this because my fellow journalists are going to try and take me out but I have to say Steve in your presentation we're about disruption and both at the because of the technologies and because of the changing patterns of the news consumption and because of the demographic changes in this country and and the globalization and at the same time the fragmentation and more and more isolation of individual communities and the empowerment of individual communities so who knows what a news organization will look like in 10-15 years from now is sharing within that the knight foundation probably the only foundation in this country that is really intentionally 100% committed to journalism and and to the not only survival but to the thriving of journalism and the role of information in a democracy its funding this laundromat news experiment where they've set up a new separation in a laundromat when you have a captive audience people are watching this clothes and are waiting so why not give them news and who knows how this will turn out so who knows how things will turn out my favorite plan is the newsroom in the supermarket super has plenty of traffic there of all kinds of people so why not engage them with news there we don't know what news news organizations will look like we do know that the current legacy structures are fast disappearing even those that are still sustainable from a business model standpoint like television although now we're seeing again with increasing unplugging that they are visualizing pretty soon over the horizon you know the idea that they will have to change how they do business we're seeing collaborative of news organizations with non-traditional actors like libraries or academic institutions emerge where think perhaps bolder collaborative like the laundromat news emerging I am now directing a project for the Knight Foundation called a local media project which focuses on that so yes there could be very much in this new world a corporation having a legitimate news site or a group of corporations having a legitimate or supporting a legitimate news site the key will be legitimate you know the key will be do not turn it into a PR tool do not conduct rigorous journalism create a situation whereby there is not even the hint of possible contamination between what the brand is doing commercially or what it is pushing commercially and and it could be in the same realm you know very well an energy company could support a site on climate change but it has to be authentic that's important I'd love to welcome questions we're gonna have some microphones circulating around I'm gonna let Luke look you're my boss so you can ask a question do I try to take the microphone away can you hear me okay a fascinating discussion and just hit on two markets that I thought to news organizations or one market in one new organization the New York Times you mentioned that not sure how many people are reading it and then you mentioned the Philadelphia market idea that I've read with great interest this week that The Times gonna open up storefronts and all of our boroughs to bring news back to a local level that just heard that this week so that'll be interesting to watch and then you mentioned the Philadelphia market and I was wondering if you've been exposed to the Philadelphia citizen there who I think they're doing some great things focused on solutions as it relates to government schools other social issues and and then my only worry in both fronts of those examples is is this gonna be sustainable storefronts of the New York Times and all boroughs and publications like the Philadelphia citizen can they last how are they gonna be sustainable still yes excellent questions I did not say nobody read them here thanks I said many of our people don't read it then read it and I am one of the ones who read it but yes I think it's a very interesting initiative that they are undertaking at the local level I wish them all success I would say though that for the type of culture that the New York Times is they will need to undergo a pretty significant transformation in their thinking in order to be successful at that level I wish them all the success in the world because that's what we want that they should energize it but if one looks historically at their coverage of New York City the Metropolitan section for example it's not one of their strongest suits but listen the New York Times when it invests it invests well it floods the zone as they like to say and so and they get good people to do it so absolutely Philadelphia yes the citizen actually is part of the collaborative that we work with and they're good friends the Philadelphia collaborative now called resolve Philadelphia started out with the re-entry project which we supported with solutions journalism coaching but also financially to report on reentry what happened to people when they got out of jail and had to reinsert themselves in society pretty big problem in Philadelphia the lot of the large cities in the United States is the one with the highest problem of incarceration and hence of course the incarceration when those individuals complete complete their sentences it started with seven news outlets that decided to work collaboratively to focus on this issue alone quickly grew to 15 and now the resolved Philadelphia which is the second iteration has over 20 outlets part of the work that we did with them was help them find that sustainable business model and we believe that collaboratives the intersection of collaborative and solutions journalism can transform the local media ecosystem and the proof of our main proof of concept at the moment is Philadelphia because it's the most advanced but we have other experiments that have yielded very very positive results in Montana in New Mexico in New Hampshire and right now we're working in Charlotte and Detroit to replicate that that's good question Chris got a microphone coming this way really fascinating conversation so I'm curious because I thought about the last presentation and the sense of storytelling and failure and how does James Bond get off and how much that resonates with people and the work that you're trying to do in getting journalists to cover the solutions so I wonder how we as either people who are counseling corporations companies or who are doing that work internally how do we help those organizations be willingness to trust the journalists and to tell their stories of failure and how they're trying to get out of that yes I do remember once when I was heading the International Women's Media Foundation we went to this corporation that I shall not name but it's it's distinctive emblem is a pineapple and so we were talking with this one of the vice presidents who wanted to support women journalists in Central America and he very clearly said but are we going to get good press out of this if we do it and say no you will get press I cannot tell you that will depend on this story they find and long story short there we did not get the financial support so yes I am NOT going to pretend that there isn't a long and problematic history of not productive relationships between PR folks or corporations and and news organizations but at solutions journalism network you know we proposed a different kind of journalism and this comes up all the time have you examined your own biases have you examined your own idea that you only want your need as a journalist is only to poke the finger in the eye of this corporation have you examined that have you examined your motives if you have and you have found this evidence well you have to go with that story but you also need to look at this holistically and you know it is also true that there are many corporations that with one hand they launch corporate responsibility programs which their actions completely negate so that's also true so solutions journalism all it proposes is look at the whole thing ask different questions review the evidence again and see what is working focus on what is working so I don't know if that helps your overall strategy how you would want to reorient it towards that but but this is what in many cases of course this is a long-standing problem or a long-standing challenge and it will take us long to get out of it as it took to get into it it's very difficult for most corporations to feel vulnerable and sharing the journey even though as human beings when we read stories and we read the large profiles where companies are willing to talk about failure challenge mistakes big problems and then they talk about obviously they want to talk about the arc of moving past that and audre could talk a lot about that too from the corporate crisis side but it is a very hard sell for us in this field often to talk with our clients about what it means to be vulnerable to that level to share something that's going to be bigger and actually leads to those larger stories and the answer it's a hard one and to your point please don't wait until the crisis this is a this is a key thing build the relationships throughout maintain the open dialogue and this is something that solutions journalism try to get journalists to do don't just go there when the house is burning he keep a conversation before how was the house built what where they are here into code well so then you'll be able to explain the context better for your audiences so likewise for corporations you know don't wait until you have the Wells Fargo terrible crisis in order to try and do something about community sorry about mentioning that yeah you can you can delete it from this hinge now I mean every hate glass houses every organization has crises some have seasons some are larger and more painful than others but no organization no human being doesn't have it we are going to have a break so let's have one more question before they break anybody else oh yes please hi I'm first one comment I was at USA Today in the early days I'm that old and I do recall that al Neuharth wanted it to be a newspaper that at least half of it was good news and he was laughed out of every office he ever entered so there's a long history of this but persevered whether he did something good to journalism is a whole nother topic but my question is everything you're talking about it has the foundation of credibility and responsibility and quality journalism but we are awash what has been termed citizen journalists I know there are many serious ones and some in this room but there are also others who are 13 year olds with a keyboard and then you also have the bots and and the fake news that actually is fake news how you know how pervasive do you think this is I mean we feel like it's everywhere maybe it's not maybe it's it's our own bias of thinking it's there and how do we balance the fact that there is a conscious attempt in positions of power to undermine the existence of credible media nevermind the specifics and how do we move forward and get out of this morass yes and of course this is a phenomenon that we're seeing now unfortunately in the United States but there are many societies that have been dealing with this for ever and I mean governments that are very interested in suppressing or withholding or creating narratives and hey listen you know for learning this was at the absolute purpose of the press there was nothing he didn't think there was anything wrong with that he thought that the press was and what are the most successful cases of excellent communication unfortunately his girdles in World War two I mean he whipped up this incredibly effective campaign against certain sectors of the population which resulted so so it's not new that's you know and and I am saying that just so that we shouldn't panic it's important it's happening because of course now we have added technology around it but also we need to think about who uses technology how do they use technology who is connected who is not connected and how information flows in community the only antidote to this at the local level is to be connected to your community to understand how information flows and to do excellent journalism and build your credibility at the national level also but we are focusing again Absolution in solutions journalism network at the local level it's not as difficult as you think programs of news literacy that we've discussed the other day I I have it bookmarked I haven't read it yet but Finland apparently is having quite a lot of success in fighting fake news and so I am very interested on it okay they are doing it better how are they doing it and then put this before your community so that it can be discussed and and executed so as we get ready to take a break I just encourage everyone in the room to reflect on this and think about the stories you're telling from your own organization not just to sell a product or service but also the things that which you're engaging your communities and ask yourselves how are we going to help hold up solutions and the multiple ways to engage our communities I think there's so much food for thought and connectivity here and also as communicators and organizations that need a free and vital and sometimes messy press in a democracy how are we going to work on the local level or beyond to support the news organizations in our community because I think there's a time that people in this room can do and I want to thank Liza what a fantastic

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