The Day – Crowdsourcing of our investigative journalism project
Do you know what happens when someone assumes they know something, without actually confirming that it’s true?
I won’t assume you do.
The saying goes that when you assume it “makes you and me a fool”.
As a local newspaper, it is easy for us to speculate on what the community wants or needs. But without hearing the many different voices in the community, how can we be sure?
We need your help. And a megaphone, if you have one, we can borrow it.
Over the next few months, we will be soliciting your opinion, the stakeholders, as we seek philanthropic funding for a series of surveys on economic mobility in our region. The first subject we will cover is housing. If you don’t have a safe and comfortable place to live, how can you thrive at school or at work, or not at all?
We want to hear from people of all ages and all stages of life who have struggled to find housing. We plan to listen to individuals and groups and those who work in social services, government and the housing industry. We have questions ready to be asked and we hope you will provide us with more.
When we think we have a more complete picture of what is going on, we will approach the funders to ask them for money. We believe that investigative work of this kind is important, and we cannot do it without grants and donations.
In August, The Day was accepted into the Local Media Association’s journalism fundraising lab. We work with 20 news organizations from across the country to develop and execute local journalism fundraising strategies, in part through philanthropic support.
We have identified our project as the laboratory of economic mobility solutions of the day. Maybe we’ll give it a nickname to make it less intimidating. We are open to suggestions.
We hope to raise enough money to fund two reporting positions and an editor, and to pay for other related costs, such as events, equipment and translation services.
During the first two bi-weekly sessions of the LMA Lab, we heard from companies that have been successful in raising funds for in-depth projects, including the Seattle Times with its “Project Homeless” and, closer to home, the Meriden Record. -Journal with its Latino Laboratory reporting on communities.
We have started to map our network of stakeholders and potential helpers, and now we are conducting a âlistening visitâ. When we speak to you, by email, in person, by phone or on Zoom, we will ask you to tell us your own story and answer a few questions, such as: What are the most pressing housing issues? What programs or efforts are working? What is missing ?
We’re great at identifying and reporting issues, but we want to do better when it comes to finding and being a part of solutions. It’s a big project, and we want it to have an impact.
If you would like to be heard, email me at [email protected] and put “LISTENING TOUR” in the subject line. I can’t wait to talk to you.
Karen Florin is The Day Engagement Editor-in-Chief.