The Web as a tool for multimedia
election reporting and citizen
engagement
Brian Wheeler, Executive Director
Charlottesvil...
Charlottesville Tomorrow
A community information
resource covering growth,
development, local politics and
education
We co...
About Charlottesville Tomorrow

Founded in 2005 as a community non-profit
In City of Charlottesville & Albemarle County
Po...
About Charlottesville Tomorrow

As a journalism business…
Charlottesville Tomorrow is:
• A hyperlocal online information r...
Charlottesville Tomorrow in action

Hyperlocal news
Civic media

Local election
coverage

Research
Polling
Visualizations
...
Our approach

Fact-based

Non-partisan

In-depth

No positions taken
Informing YOUR choice

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An ...
“Democracy becomes real for
people when they decide what
kind of community they
want, not so much which
political party or...
Why does it matter?

“…an informed public will make decisions that
will protect and build upon the distinctive
character o...
Local elections impact our quality of life

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

9
Strategic focus on TWO local elections initially

Charlottesville
City Council
(5 seats)

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Ad...
Providing in-depth resources for voters

•
•
•
•
•
•

News stories
Candidate interviews
Candidate forums
Mailing of voter ...
Democracy demands informed choices

VOTE SMART in local elections
http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/elections

Charlottesville...
Power of media partnerships

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

13
Daily Progress partnership
Partnership started in August 2009
Charlottesville Tomorrow places an average
of 25 stories per...
C-VILLE Weekly partnership
In 2013, Charlottesville Tomorrow
launched a similar partnership with
C-VILLE Weekly for covera...
Availability of CIVIC MEDIA in Charlottesville

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

16
Availability of CIVIC MEDIA in Charlottesville

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

17
Mission-driven journalism for a special place

“It’s a different act of
journalism to write about
a place where you live
t...
Multimedia news stories

News story featuring:
* Audio podcast
* Embedded audio
* Original documents

Charlottesville Tomo...
Tracking the money in local politics

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

20
Our community wiki: cvillepedia

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

21
Start to finish coverage of the candidates

Since 2005, we have recorded all
the important public moments for
our local ca...
Even working the polls on election day

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

23
Why do we do it? It’s vital to our democracy…

• Local officials impact our quality of life.
• We trust engaged citizens, ...
Engaging our voters with civic media

With the help of our partners…
Non-profit content
specialists

News and printing
par...
THANK YOU

Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today.

26
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Brian Wheeler, The Web as a tool for multimedia election reporting

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Brian Wheeler, executive editor at Charlottesville Tomorrow, spoke about the Web as a tool for multimedia election reporting and citizen engagement at RJI's "Down-home Democracy: Empowering Citizens With Outstanding Coverage of Local Elections" on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

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Brian Wheeler, The Web as a tool for multimedia election reporting

  1. 1. The Web as a tool for multimedia election reporting and citizen engagement Brian Wheeler, Executive Director Charlottesville Tomorrow @bawheeler @cvilletomorrow www.cvilletomorrow.org Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. September 30, 2009 1
  2. 2. Charlottesville Tomorrow A community information resource covering growth, development, local politics and education We connect you to vital information for making informed choices about our community’s future.
  3. 3. About Charlottesville Tomorrow Founded in 2005 as a community non-profit In City of Charlottesville & Albemarle County Population: 145,000 Famous for: Mr. Jefferson & the University of Virginia Four full-time employees + interns • • • • Executive Director Growth & development reporter Education reporter Community Engagement & Marketing Specialist Managed by 11-person Board of Directors Annual budget of $400,000 Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 3
  4. 4. About Charlottesville Tomorrow As a journalism business… Charlottesville Tomorrow is: • A hyperlocal online information resource • A member of the Virginia Press Association and the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers association • A partner with other local media companies and non-profits covering local politics Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 4
  5. 5. Charlottesville Tomorrow in action Hyperlocal news Civic media Local election coverage Research Polling Visualizations To engage community To inform choices Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 5
  6. 6. Our approach Fact-based Non-partisan In-depth No positions taken Informing YOUR choice Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 6
  7. 7. “Democracy becomes real for people when they decide what kind of community they want, not so much which political party or candidate they support.” Suzanne Morse Smart Communities
  8. 8. Why does it matter? “…an informed public will make decisions that will protect and build upon the distinctive character of the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.” Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 8
  9. 9. Local elections impact our quality of life Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 9
  10. 10. Strategic focus on TWO local elections initially Charlottesville City Council (5 seats) Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. Albemarle Board of Supervisors (6 seats) 10
  11. 11. Providing in-depth resources for voters • • • • • • News stories Candidate interviews Candidate forums Mailing of voter guides Online voter resources Campaign finance data Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. • Our own media campaigns promoting voter participation • Weekly radio programs • Wiki pages • Weekly email newsletters 11
  12. 12. Democracy demands informed choices VOTE SMART in local elections http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/elections Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 12
  13. 13. Power of media partnerships Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 13
  14. 14. Daily Progress partnership Partnership started in August 2009 Charlottesville Tomorrow places an average of 25 stories per month in the daily newspaper representing almost 53% of the paper’s coverage of growth and development issues and local politics. 53% of coverage in 2013 CT Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. DP 14
  15. 15. C-VILLE Weekly partnership In 2013, Charlottesville Tomorrow launched a similar partnership with C-VILLE Weekly for coverage of local public schools. Charlottesville Tomorrow’s full-time education reporter fills one page of each edition of the weekly newspaper with school news, calendar items, and educator profiles. C-VILLE Weekly provides for layout and printing of School Board Voter Guides. Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 15
  16. 16. Availability of CIVIC MEDIA in Charlottesville Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 16
  17. 17. Availability of CIVIC MEDIA in Charlottesville Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 17
  18. 18. Mission-driven journalism for a special place “It’s a different act of journalism to write about a place where you live than a place you are passing through. The difference is almost spiritual.” Jay Rosen New York University Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 18
  19. 19. Multimedia news stories News story featuring: * Audio podcast * Embedded audio * Original documents Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 19
  20. 20. Tracking the money in local politics Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 20
  21. 21. Our community wiki: cvillepedia Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 21
  22. 22. Start to finish coverage of the candidates Since 2005, we have recorded all the important public moments for our local candidates. * Candidate announcements * Candidate forums * Taking office Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 22
  23. 23. Even working the polls on election day Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 23
  24. 24. Why do we do it? It’s vital to our democracy… • Local officials impact our quality of life. • We trust engaged citizens, armed with clear, nonpartisan information, will make informed choices. • The information we collect during campaigns is one tool for government accountability. • Our daily reporting helps ensure open government and transparency. Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 24
  25. 25. Engaging our voters with civic media With the help of our partners… Non-profit content specialists News and printing partners Online database tracking the money in local elections Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 25
  26. 26. THANK YOU Charlottesville Tomorrow : An Advocate For Our Future. Today. 26

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