Planting Questions in New Orleans

Three years ago I moved to New Orleans because of a question. I was sitting having a beer with a local news director who had just been tasked with creating a new news department, but didn’t have funding for any staff. “How do you cover a city without any reporters?” she asked. It was an interesting question to say the least, so I moved south from New York to find out what the answer might be.

I’ve spent the last three years developing the Listening Post, a project that creates an expansive conversation around New Orleans about what’s happening in the city, and how that news impacts citizens. The project focuses on marginalized communities that are often spoken for by the media, without an opportunity to represent themselves. I began building participation in the project by sharing an information needs assessment, a survey that asks people how they get and pass information, what they’d like to know more about, and how best to reach them on a regular basis.

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