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Case Studies: Community Engagement

Published in April 17 by INN and Dot Connector Studio

For nonprofit newsrooms, convening and engaging people around issues that shape public and civic life are increasingly critical parts of journalism as practiced today. They happen alongside journalists’ work to report and distribute information. These examples were collected to show the range of public engagement with news, to give nonprofit newsrooms a place to learn what others are doing and borrow ideas that may be adaptable to their own communities.

INN would like to thank Jessica Clark and Katie Donnelly of Dot Connector Studio for compiling and summarizing these projects and the Democracy Fund for its support.

Some of these projects were supported by INNovation Fund grants from INN and financed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Democracy Fund.


This case study was written by INN and Dot Connector Studio. Dot Connector Studio was founded by Jessica Clark and Katie Donnelly in 2013. Working with Art Director Carrie McLaren, they launched with media strategy, production and evaluation brand based on the values of collaboration, interdisciplinary discovery, social good and network building. The studio’s initial focus was on evaluating the impact of mission-driven storytelling projects and providing related strategy, based on previous research and strategy work with AIR, American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact, and Jessica’s book, Beyond the Echo Chamber: How a Networked Progressive Media Can Reshape American Politics. Since that time, they’ve grown to include a team of associates and partner organizations around the country, and spearheaded groundbreaking media projects as well as influential reports for some of the country’s leading foundations.

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