Aug. 25, 6-8:30 pm: Breaking the News Part 2 explores challenges & solutions for local news coverage

Kalamazoo County is not alone. Communities across the state and the nation are challenged with the same dilemma: How do we get reliable news and information about what’s happening in our community? In May, we dug into this issue from a state perspective. On Aug. 25, we’re bringing community-level media folks and communication professionals together to discuss challenges specific to our region. We’ll meet at the Fetzer Center from 6-8:30 p.m. for a fast-paced workshop event. Please join us!

This is an opportunity to continue the conversation at ground level. Who is covering what in Greater Kalamazoo? Are there gaps? How do we make sure citizens are fully informed about local events and issues? Using a World Café-style approach, everyone will get a chance to tackle these tough questions and blue-sky new solutions.

Because this is the first event of its kind in Kalamazoo, we’re getting inquiries about what the experience might be like. So here we’ve answered the top 10 questions about it:

  1. How is this different from the Breaking the News event I attended in May?

Our first event gave us a big-picture understanding of why the news landscape is changing. At our Aug. 25 discussion, we want to identify specific local challenges and opportunities for positive changes.

  1. What is a World Café`-style event?

Wikipedia refers to the World Café approach as an intimate discussion by a large group. We’ll gather at small tables to share ideas around big questions. Then we’ll roll out those conversations to the larger room.

  1. Will I get a chance to connect with people before and after the event?

We’ve built networking into the pre-event schedule. You can enjoy free appetizers, sweets and a cash bar, too.

  1. Will I have to speak?

Only if you want to. You can come and listen. But we bet you won’t. The intimate discussion style of the World Café approach is designed to draw impassioned input from the most introverted souls.

  1. I belong to a local nonprofit. Why would I attend?

It’s more challenging than ever to get your story out into the community you serve. You’ll learn which local media outlets target their news to your stakeholders and how to pitch your information successfully for coverage.

  1. I work for the media. What’s in this event for me?

It’s a rare chance for publishers and broadcasters to meet collectively with their stakeholders in Greater Kalamazoo. This is your opportunity to talk about:

  • Your outlet’s unique role in local news
  • How changes in the media industry have affected your organization
  • How communications professionals can work with you to keep the community informed and our media organizations thriving.
  1. I’m a communications professional ” photographer, writer, social media specialist ” should I come?

Yes! You’ll be better informed about the news media operating in our community (some you probably didn’t know about!) ” and better positioned to do great work for your employer or clients.

  1. What good do you think will come from this event?

No matter what happens to our news landscape, connecting professionals around a shared issue of concern is a constructive step forward. We also plan to develop a Media Landscape Map as a follow-up to this event. With this tool, communicators will know which media to pitch and media folks will know what opportunities exist for expanded reach ” and they can tell advertisers where to find their customers.

  1. Why do I have to pay to attend?

We’d love to offer the event free of charge, but we have to cover the cost of the venue and the food. We’ve kept our pricing low to do that. InterCom is subsidizing a portion of the event as well.

  1. Do I have to be a member of InterCom?

No. But you may find that events like this ” and our series of 2nd Friday Speakers ” make membership a highly valuable bargain, at just $45 a year!