ASNE roundtable at Engage Local concludes with big success

ASNE's National Community and News Literacy Roundtables Project held a successful two-part community event tied to the Engage Local conference June 15-16 in Newark, with more than 300 attendants.
ASNE's National Community and News Literacy Roundtables Project launched nationally this week, with a two-part community event tied to the Engage Local conference hosted by Montclair State University's Center for Cooperative Media

On Monday evening, more than 300 Newark residents attended a town hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to discuss development and evolution in Newark and how that experience is reported and debated in the community. A panel that included Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson, local real estate attorney and planning expert Frank Giantomasi, Publisher Derek Ware, reporter Dale Russakoff and local photojournalist and publisher Akintola Hanif led the public in a discussion about citizen information needs and Newark's media infrastructure as it relates to development and gentrification in the city. With the hashtag #changingnewark, the event generated more than 400 tweets covering the discussion. For footage and coverage of the event, see here and here
On Tuesday, Day 2 of the conference, we hosted a special breakout session to pick up the thread from the night before and dig deeper into the conversation in a smaller, roundtable setting. About 30-40 Newark residents and the same number of conference attendees attended this session, which served to demonstrate what news organizations can get out of a community event about a local issue and how scale affects a community conversation. Facilitated by veteran journalist and Project Consultant Wally Dean, the group was led in a discussion about language, sources of information and what makes something trustworthy. 

The two events held at Engage Local are part of a series of news literacy roundtable discussions that we will bring to communities around the country. For more information on hosting a roundtable, please reach out to Project Manager Clair Lorell at