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Coming up next in the indie news world

In this blogpost, Joe Mitchell, PINF’s Head of Impact, announces a new position at PINF and outlines what we plan to do next in terms of sector-wide work and the five themes from last year’s indie news forum in Leeds.

Background


The independent news providers and supporting organisations who came along to the Independent News Forum in Leeds last October collectively identified five areas of work that could benefit the sector. They began working on those areas at Leeds, before we collectively developed these further over videocalls in the first two months of this year.

We blogged each of those calls:

What’s next?

Our plan looks like the following – and we’d love your feedback on it.


  • Kicking off the work on a PR campaign – you can help co-create this.

One of our charitable goals is to boost public understanding of public interest news, so we have pressed ahead with the PR campaign theme. We have invited a shortlist of communications agencies to pitch for a small piece of work to research our target audiences and to create messaging that works for everyone in the sector to use.


We’d love others in the group to be part of the process of working with the agency to develop the messaging – please drop us a line if you’re interested and we’ll have more details on what it will entail (from very light touch responding to emails or polls to more engaged roles joining calls and helping craft messaging) soon.

We imagine that this work could then feed into a series of activities, including a potential ‘Ethical Media Awards’ (see ideas here) and an Indie News Week – which could be timed to coincide with another Independent News Forum, provisionally envisaged for 21 October 2023.


  • A new networking role – now hiring!

We also think the networking strand is crucial to the success of the sector. It’s a significant role that deserves more capacity, so we’re now looking to hire a Network Manager!

The network manager will partly work with everyone supporting the News for All campaign and partly in a more open-ended connecting or organising role, pursuing the projects and needs stated by the independent news community.

Take a look at the job advert here – and please share the ad widely! Deadline to apply is April 14.


  • Highlighting and convening re best practice on community engagement and new models of journalism

We think the conversations around community engagement and new models of journalism are strongly related. We plan to commission a small piece of work to identify a package of case studies, best practice and useful templates in these areas.

This package of pieces will then be used to help kickoff a series of online workshops for a small group of paid participants, to reflect on examples of community engagement, learn from each other, and develop a richer understanding of what works and how this serves the public interest.

More to come on this once the network manager is in place.

  • Highlighting and convening re best practice on measuring and communicating impact

For the theme of building and communicating evidence of impact, we hope to commission another package of case studies, best practice, and useful templates, both of impact itself and how to measure it. We’ll announce that call for proposals in due course.


We plan to use that work to kickstart a series of online workshops for a small group of paid participants, to reflect on examples of impact, learn from each other, coach each other, and develop a richer understanding of impact and how it is measured and articulated.


Again, the new network manager will be instrumental in this work – so watch this space for more.


Feedback


We welcome thoughts and feedback on all of this. You can email us at contact@ or there are two timeslots in the schedule at the Media Democracy Festival in London on 25 March listed as ‘Indie News Forum’ spaces. Just drop into either session to continue the conversation with whoever is there.


And finally


PINF is of course just one part of the picture here, and, alas, we do not have the resources to work on all the ideas that came up in the calls.


If you feel like something is missing from the above, don’t wait for permission: start a discussion or make a proposal! The WhatsApp groups that have been created along these lines are a good place to start. Get in touch if you need the link!

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