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Public Newsroom Workshop to share findings on Chicagoans' media perceptions
From a press release
2018-01-10

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Chicago, IL — In one of the few scientific studies that measures how people in Chicago feel about news media coverage of their neighborhoods, a new survey conducted by the Center for Media Engagement, with input from local media lab City Bureau, will be released as part of a City Bureau Public Newsroom interactive workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. on January 18, 2018 at the Experimental Station ( 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. ). ( RSVP REQUIRED )

The results show significant differences between media perceptions among residents of the North/Central, West, and South regions of the city; substantial distrust of and dissatisfaction with news media; and areas for improvement and reasons for hope that media/community relations may improve.

Talia Stroud, director of the Center for Media Engagement ( CME ) and CME researchers Emily Van Duyn and Jay Jennings, will present the survey results and lead an activity in which attendees can explore the information and discuss potential solutions.

"We are looking forward to sharing our findings and starting a city-wide conversation about how to address the issues raised by our survey results," says Stroud.

CME surveyed a representative sample of 900 Chicagoans to explore their attitudes toward, and preferences for, Chicago news media across three regions—the South, West and North/downtown. Topics include:

- Most important issues facing respondents' neighborhoods

- Perceptions of the quality of news coverage on most important issues

- How respondents consume news and information and which sources they use most

- Whether respondents think local media coverage is too negative or quotes the wrong sources

- How likely respondents are to interact with journalists, pay for/donate to news organizations, and attend events hosted by news organizations

- How likely respondents are to volunteer to help news organizations

"The opportunity to partner on a study like this is incredibly valuable for City Bureau as we work to reimagine how the public engages with community media. The results will interest anyone who cares about the future of local journalism," says Harry Backlund, Director of Operations of City Bureau.

"What we found most interesting was this: People living on the South and West Sides of Chicago feel underrepresented or poorly represented by Chicago news media. However, they also are the most interested in getting involved with Chicago news organizations," says Darryl Holliday, Editorial Director of City Bureau. "The survey data supports what we hear from community members in our newsroom and from our partners across the city—what folks in marginalized communities have been saying all along—they do not feel heard in the existing media landscape, and they want to co-create narratives."

The Thursday evening research will include an overview of the data, a Q&A session, and a small-group discussion on potential solutions that can improve local news coverage and journalist/community relations.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please register ASAP: www.eventbrite.com/e/what-do-chicagoans-think-about-their-news-a-public-newsroom-tickets-41907898653 .

About City Bureau:

Founded in October 2015, City Bureau is a nonprofit civic journalism lab based on Chicago's South Side. City Bureau brings journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce equitable media coverage and encourage civic participation. The award-winning organization has been covered by some of the industry's top analysts including the Columbia Journalism Review, MediaShift, Poynter and Nieman Lab.

www.citybureau.org .

About Center for Media Engagement:

The Center for Media Engagement is a news media research and outreach initiative in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. The Center for Media Engagement envisions a vibrant American news media that more effectively empowers the public to understand, appreciate, and participate in the democratic exchange of ideas.

www.mediaengagement.org .


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