I often describe those Austin Monitor as a news source that exists at the interface of local government and community. One of the many reasons we believe this space is so important is the enormous impact each side has on the other. The community shapes local government and local government shapes the community. This particular dynamic can perhaps be better described as a relationship.
Okay, a relationship between our local government and the community may not be a groundbreaking revelation, but the real world implications can be seen as we delve deeper into the nature and health of that relationship. Are both sides active participants and are they working in good faith? This can show up in very visible ways, e.g. B. in voter turnout and opportunities for community feedback. However, it often comes down to the more humane areas we seek in our own personal relationships, such as mutual trust and understanding.
The monitor uses news and resources to build trust and understanding between local government and the community. Our editorial approach, process and Code of Ethics are designed to ensure that our readers – both community members and local authorities – trust the information we publish and understand the issues and decisions we cover.
While you’ve seen our special coverage of local government agencies like Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners Court, we’re also working to develop our relationships and connections with community members and groups across the city.
We recently had the honor of working with the fantastic team at decibel aand attend a listening session with Del Valle residents. During an hour and a half session we discussed the relationship with the news media and local government. We heard personal stories and challenges that improved our understanding of the fellowship and gave us directions to better serve our readers and their neighbors. And once again we were reminded of the reciprocity of our work – informing the church about the church and also informing the church about the church.
We know our choices shape the community, and our expectations for the future are sky high. We see this deep bond with the community as a good sign, but we also recognize that these expectations have increased the stakes and decreased the error rate. An outdated, one-way flow of local news and information at best does not meet our needs and at worst it destroys relationships within the community.
Maintaining relationships and engaging the community through events like the Del Valle Listening Session is essential to empowering the community’s information landscape, and we look forward to hosting more of these types of events. The most effective local news is a trusted one-way street that helps create greater understanding, connection, and advancement for the entire community.
There is no time like the present. Help us expand this one-way street by signing up for a small group discussion in July. We talk about the state of the local news and how we do it Austin Monitor. We have two options (virtual and personal). Log In Here.
Joel Gross is the CEO of the Austin Monitor.
The Austin MonitorThe work is made possible by donations from the community. Although our reporting includes donors from time to time, we take great care to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A full list of donors can be found here and our Code of Ethics is explained here.
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