While working on a long-term investigative project about local law enforcement, WCPO thought about how their users may respond to the story once it was published. They realized they may get pushback for investigating police officers and decided to publish a story explaining why they are holding law enforcement accountable. They also highlight how being a watchdog is part of their mission as a news organization. The news team said the explainer story helped keep the focus on their reporting and what they uncovered instead of anti-cop rhetoric they were anticipating.
While working on a long-term investigative project about local law enforcement, WCPO thought about how their users may respond to the story once it was published. They realized they may get pushback for investigating police officers and decided to publish a story explaining why they are holding law enforcement accountable. They also highlight how being a watchdog is part of their mission as a news organization. The news team said the explainer story helped keep the focus on their reporting and what they uncovered instead of anti-cop rhetoric they were anticipating.
The Day used Facebook to highlight a historic winter event from the past. In the post they mentioned the journalists who worked on the story by name and included information about how long they had been covering these topics to help demonstrate the journalists' credibility and expertise.
The Day used Facebook to highlight a historic winter event from the past. In the post, they mentioned the journalists who worked on the story by name and included information about how long they had been covering these topics to help demonstrate the journalists’ credibility and expertise.
The Coloradoan created a Facebook group for their community so people can get answers about what is happening in their local neighborhoods. They partnered with their local fire agency who also chimes in and provides answers to some of the questions. The news organization created user guidelines and is very clear about what people should expect from the group. So far, they said, feedback has been very positive and they have been able to get local utility companies and the police department involved in discussions as well.
WCPO wrote a web article explaining the important role trust plays in their relationship with their community. The article discussed their participation in the Trusting News project and highlighted how they are going to try to be more trustworthy. The web article also invited feedback from users.
WCPO wrote a web article explaining the important role trust plays in their relationship with their community. The article discussed their participation in the Trusting News project and highlighted how they are going to try to be more trustworthy. The web article also invited feedback from users.
WCPO discussed their core beliefs as a news organization while updating their "about" page on their website. They told users they loved their city, discussed how they strive for accuracy and said one of their goals is to be transparent with users. The post was also shared on Facebook where it received hundreds of comments. The news organization said the post worked well and "people seemed to relate, ask questions and respond" to them.
WCPO discussed their core beliefs as a news organization while updating their “about” page on their website. They told users they loved their city, discussed how they strive for accuracy and said one of their goals is to be transparent with users. The post was also shared on Facebook where it received hundreds of comments. The news organization said the post worked well and “people seemed to relate, ask questions and respond” to them.
Many news organizations host booths at festivals, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff went a step further.
Many news organizations host booths at festivals, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff went a step further. On top of showing up at a popular community event and interacting with the public, they decided to also help register people to vote. By being present in the community they allowed people to see them as real people and get to know them better. When people meet journalists and get to know them it can help build trust for the individual journalist, but also the news organization and the journalism industry as a whole.
Many news organizations host booths at festivals, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff went a step further.
Many news organizations host booths at festivals, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff went a step further. On top of showing up at a popular community event and interacting with the public, they decided to also help register people to vote. By being present in the community they allowed people to see them as real people and get to know them better. When people meet journalists and get to know them it can help build trust for the individual journalist, but also the news organization and the journalism industry as a whole.
The Day discussed their ownership structure by posting to their Facebook page. They used recent grants given out by the news organization's foundation as a way to highlight their company structure and explain their commitment to the community.
The Day discussed their ownership structure by posting to their Facebook page. They used recent grants given out by the news organization’s foundation as a way to highlight their company structure and explain their commitment to the community.

Remind your community about your mission and purpose. Tell them you work on behalf of the public. Use specific language and strong words, like watchdog and investigation, rather than hoping those concepts are clear.

WITF wanted to show users they are connected to the community so they added a note at the top of a story. It read, "WITF is part of your community. We're your neighbors. We invest in this type of reporting because it's vital to talk about life in our region, not about politics. Learn more about our involvement in the Trusting News project."
WITF wanted to show users they are connected to the community so they added a note at the top of a story. It read, “WITF is part of your community. We’re your neighbors. We invest in this type of reporting because it’s vital to talk about life in our region, not about politics. Learn more about our involvement in the Trusting News project.”
More than 60 students, teachers and chaperones visited the newsroom of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
More than 60 students, teachers, and chaperones visited the newsroom of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was the first time the newsroom had opened its doors to the public since 2014. During the two and a half hour visit, students helped choose the story for the top of the home page, met photographers, reporters, and editors, and had an opportunity to try their hand at weather and traffic in front of the green screen. The feedback from the visit was overwhelmingly positive and the newsroom shared photos and videos from the event on their Facebook page.
Screenshot from tennessean.com, showing an invitation for more veterans to share their perspectives with the newspaper.
The staff at the Tennessean set up a “Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.” The group worked on identifying people in the community they wanted to hear more from and then invited them into their newsroom. Those groups included veterans, Muslims and gun owners. A common theme came out of these visits: people wanted to be included in responsible and accurate coverage. For the Tennessean these visits resulted in more sources for stories and more people submitting letters to the editor.
Screenshot from the Civility Tennessee group page on Facebook.
Hot button issues like racism and gun control can be difficult to have on social media. The Tennessean wanted to create a “safe place” for their community to engage with one another on the platform, so, they created a Facebook group called “Civility Tennessee.” The group has resulted in healthy discussions and over 150 active members posting daily or weekly. The group is “closed” and users have to answer a few questions in order to gain access. This allows the newsroom to have more control over who is in the group and makes moderation a bit easier.
Screenshot from the Civility Tennessee group page on Facebook.
Hot button issues like racism and gun control can be difficult to have on social media. The Tennessean wanted to create a “safe place” for their community to engage with one another on the platform, so, they created a Facebook group called “Civility Tennessee.” The group has resulted in healthy discussions and over 150 active members posting daily or weekly. The group is “closed” and users have to answer a few questions in order to gain access. This allows the newsroom to have more control over who is in the group and makes moderation a bit easier.

Screenshot of a headline that reads: Plazas: Why can't we be more civil on the Nashville transit debate?

Screenshot from tennessean.com
The columnist’s transparency is admirable, as he owns up about how he was “duped” and how he tried to move forward with civility, rather than “starting a pointless and heated Twitter feud.” Readers responded positively and kept the conversation going with a steady stream of op-eds on the topic.
The Jefferson City News Tribune remembered a city employee who died by posting about her death on their Facebook page. The news organization found it was an easy way to highlight previous coverage featuring this individual and show their local ties to the community.
The Jefferson City News Tribune remembered a city employee who died by posting about her death on their Facebook page. The news organization found it was an easy way to highlight previous coverage featuring this individual and show their local ties to the community.
The Gazette used the Facebook Story (About) feature to share their history as a news organization. They discussed how long they have served the community and highlighted milestones along the way. By completing this section, anyone who clicks on their Facebook page will be able to learn more about their news organization and history in the community.
The Gazette used the Facebook Story (About) feature to share their history as a news organization. They discussed how long they have served the community and highlighted milestones along the way. By completing this section, anyone who clicks on their Facebook page will be able to learn more about their news organization and history in the community.
Screenshot from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Facebook page, where a video was shared highlighting the paper's community coverage.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram created a video highlighting community coverage. The video includes clips from local high school football games, a popular festival and local government coverage. It was an easy way to remind users that their journalists are part of the community they serve and the newsroom works to cover the many neighborhoods in their region.
If your staffers are comfortable with it, take the time to show who they are outside of work. A photo of a Jefferson City News Tribune reporter playing in the community band generated positive responses. Posts like these remind readers that you are real people (not "the media") and that you're their neighbors.
If your staffers are comfortable with it, take the time to show who they are outside of work. A photo of a Jefferson City News Tribune reporter playing in the community band generated positive responses. Posts like these remind readers that you are real people (not “the media”) and that you’re their neighbors.
Are you a local reporter? Own it. A reporter at the Coloradoan took to Twitter to share her pride in covering stories that would otherwise go untold. As she wrote, "You won’t see a reporter from a national news outlet going door-to-door in your neighborhood most days." Don't be shy about sharing genuine pride and excitement.
Are you a local reporter? Own it. A reporter at the Coloradoan took to Twitter to share her pride in covering stories that would otherwise go untold. As she wrote, “You won’t see a reporter from a national news outlet going door-to-door in your neighborhood most days.” Don’t be shy about sharing genuine pride and excitement.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the importance of earning trust face to face — how looking into another person’s eyes is more likely to create an authentic connection than an online or phone interaction. I also pointed you to new Pew data, which shows that only 21 percent of Americans have ever spoken with a journalist. (And those interactions are more likely to have happened with younger, less affluent, less educated, non-white people.) More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here

 

Isn’t it frustrating to watch news outlets get something dead wrong that you worked hard to get right? It’s important that we correct misinformation, especially on topics we have expertise in. It’s something we can do without spitefulness, and often without even naming the journalists who are at fault. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
Trust Tips 1: Ask how you could better earn trust
When was the last time you told your community that you value their trust? How often do you ask them how you could do better? In text? On air? On social media? In a newsletter? Acknowledging that you know some of them don’t trust you is powerful, as is asking for feedback. News consumers aren’t usually shy about telling us how we could do better, but asking for input directly (rather than just waiting to see what comments people leave on stories) can help get a constructive conversation going. This is from our “Trust Tips” weekly newsletter. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here.
The Day used social media and their reporting to connect members of their community. After two women took an ad out in their newspaper looking for a relative, the Day wrote a story about it. After the story published, they found the relative and the Day wrote a follow-up story. When sharing the story link on Facebook the news organization highlighted how their reporting helped reunite the family.
The Day used social media and their reporting to connect members of their community. After two women took an ad out in their newspaper looking for a relative, the Day wrote a story about it. After the story published, they found the relative and the Day wrote a follow-up story. When sharing the story link on Facebook the news organization highlighted how their reporting helped reunite the family.
The Day used Facebook to answer questions from users about how their news process works. They used the opportunity to explain story selection, coverage priorities and their journalism ethics. The Q&A, conducted through the comments section of the post on Facebook, reached more than 5,000 people and almost all of the feedback was positive, even when the answer was not exactly what the user wanted to hear.
The Day used Facebook to answer questions from users about how their news process works. They used the opportunity to explain story selection, coverage priorities and their journalism ethics. The Q&A, conducted through the comments section of the post on Facebook, reached more than 5,000 people and almost all of the feedback was positive, even when the answer was not exactly what the user wanted to hear.
The Gazette used a historic photo of their newsroom to highlight their connection to the community. The news organization did something similar before, but saw a more positive response when using a photo from the past. The post also asked users for feedback by including a link to a Google Form.
The Gazette used a historic photo of their newsroom to highlight their connection to the community. The news organization did something similar before but saw a more positive response when using a photo from the past. The post also asked users for feedback by including a link to a Google Form.
WCPO addiction story
WCPO highlighted their commitment to their community in a Facebook post when they shared a link to a story about heroin addiction. They focused on how this particular story is one of hope.