First, let’s start by giving you a little background information. In journalism, a source is someone we talk to for a story. Sometimes we quote them, sometimes we don’t. It can be an elected official who issues a statement for us to consider adding to a story or a community member who has coffee with us to tell us more about what’s going on locally.
Many times, sources give us story ideas. They also help us form the way we think about stories. Good sources are vital to good journalism. But, as journalists, we don’t just want to use people for whatever ideas they can give us. We truly want to listen. If you feel like the news doesn’t represent you and have suggestions for how we can do better, we want to know what we’re missing. We want to hear from you so the decisions about which stories we pursue are equitable and community focused — not just based on what a small group of journalists thinks is important.
This is where we could really use your help. We’re looking for a diverse group of people — racially, geographically, politically, socioeconomically — across the state to help us form a network of people who will help guide our journalism, and also be able to share their insight for particular stories we are working on.
Here’s how that can work:
You would fill out a survey telling us a little bit more about yourself and the best ways to get in touch with you. A few weeks after that, the facilitator of this program would reach out to you about how we’ll be moving forward. While we would love to be in touch with as many of you as possible, we want each ambassador to form meaningful relationships with reporters, so we are aiming for quality connections over quantity. Because of that, we’ll have to cap the number of participants at a certain point.
If we’re able to move forward with you, you will be paired with one of our reporters. The reporter will reach out to you to set up a time to talk. We don’t have a set agenda for this conversation — our main goal is to get to know you and your community. Our hope is that this conversation will be the first of many that are ongoing, trusting and in service of community-powered journalism.
Still interested? Enroll in the Mississippi Today Community Ambassador Network program below.
Have questions? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org