Gather logoStory by Dayu Aryanthi

In an age of filter bubbles, fake news and hyper-partisan media, it’s more critical than ever for journalists to deepen relationships with the public and find new ways to build trust. Journalists and the faculty at UO School of Journalism and Communication’s Agora Journalism Center have been rethinking the changing relationship between news providers and consumers and looking for new ways to report stories the public cares about.

“Engaged journalism” is one emerging approach to these challenges that puts communities at the center of journalists’ work.

To broaden the impact of the emerging community of engaged journalism practitioners, the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication will be hosting engagement workshops across the United States with the support of a $100,000 grant from Democracy Fund.

In the fall and winter, Agora will be hosting engagement workshops in:

  • Boulder, Colorado, Nov. 2-3
  • San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 5-6
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, Jan, 18-19, 2018

Each workshop will cover region-specific topics centered around ways to improve public engagement with the news and journalist engagement with the public. For example, in Charlotte, the workshop will bring together legacy and emerging media leaders to learn from each other about best practices for engaged journalism. And in Boulder, the participants will dive deep into building leadership in engaged journalism.

The workshops will also introduce journalists nationwide to Gather, a new interactive platform for connecting and informing engagement journalists developed by the Agora Journalism Center with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Gather is a collection of searchable resources, a hub for collaboration and a digital meeting space where engaged journalism’s budding community of practice can learn from each other and continue to grow and evolve.

“Growing this community of practice requires in-real-life engagement to make authentic connections, build trust and encourage engagement practitioners to learn from and collaborate with each other in an ongoing way,” said Andrew DeVigal, the UO SOJC’s Chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement. “Beyond Gather, these face-to-face convenings and workshops are essential to broaden the reach and deepen the practice of engaged journalism.”

“We are excited for the Agora Journalism Center’s launch of the Gather platform,” says Paul Waters, senior associate for the Public Square Program at Democracy Fund. “By providing an interactive hub for best practices, we hope Gather will strengthen the growing community of practice working on engaged journalism products, practices and platforms in journalism.”

For more information about Gather, sign up for the email list or contact DeVigal at adevigal@uoregon.edu.

About Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of effective governance, modern elections and a vibrant public square.

About the Agora Journalism Center

The Agora Journalism Center at the UO School of Journalism and Communication is the University of Oregon’s gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement. The center works to create and support transformational media innovations in service to civic engagement, and civic engagement that informs media innovation.


Dayu Aryanthi is a senior at Portland State University studying business administration with an emphasis in marketing and a minor in economics. She has been interning in the Events and Outreach Office at the SOJC’s Portland campus since December 2016.

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