Doing the Civic Map in Public Journalism: A Quick GuidePosted: May 31, 2012
Why map in PJ?
§ Serves as game plan or quick reference
§ Helps you move out of “conventional” mode (ideas, sources, writing)
§ Leads to deeper understanding of and reporting on a community or issue
Mapping the Community
§ Other types
Public Journalism: When to map
§ Finding story ideas
§ Building the story
§ Telling the story
Finding Story Ideas
§ What makes a community tick?o Issues and concerns o Hopes and aspirations o Trends
§ Focus Group Discussion
Peeling the Layers
§ Third places
Building the Story
§ The Topic
§ The Team
§ The Strategies
§ The Sources
§ The Timetable
§ What we know
§ What we want to know
§ What is interesting
§ What is beneficial
§ How much time and effort
§ What the dimensions/boundaries of the area/topic are
§ Advertising (?)
§ Typeso Focus groups o Town hall meetings o Small public assemblies o Coffee-shop (sari-sari store) talks o Kitchen-table (living-room) conversations
§ Use throughouto Explore other angles o Bring in more voices o Report/validate findings o Solicit feedback o Look for solutions
Framing the Story
§ NEWS: Hard, soft
§ FEATURE: News feature Profile; How to
§ OPINION: Commentary; analysis
§ Human interest
§ Law enforcement (Police, military)
Importance of framing
§ Selects relevant context
§ Supports certain values
§ Shapes readers’ view
§ Format (formal series, one-day specials)
§ Project aim
§ Project guide (evolution, schedule of upcoming events)
§ Historical perspective
§ Data analysis (maps, graphs, tables)
§ Empowerment info (self-help info, reading lists, community resources, how-to-get involved)
§ Civic linkages (contact info)
§ Online component (information, feedback, continued discussion)
The Landscape: Synthesis
§ Focus: What’s the central theme?
§ Lead and nut graph: What’s the point of the story?
§ History: How did the problem develop?
§ Scope: How widespread is the development?
§ Causes: Why is this problem happening now?
§ Effects: Who’s affected and how?
§ Moves and countermoves: Who’s acting to promote or oppose the developments, and what are they doing?
§ Future: What could happen?
What to remember
§ The relevant “voices”
§ Synthesis, not mere recording
§ Anecdotes, description, dialogues, examples
§ Contrasts and comparisons
§ BBI (boring but important) information