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Tribune strengthening community ties through engagement efforts

by Nicole Roberts | October 12, 2019 at 5:05 a.m. | Updated October 13, 2019 at 1:41 p.m.

The News Tribune wouldn't be where it is today without the support of this community, and we firmly believe we have played a role in making our coverage area successful.

It's a mutual-benefiting relationship we at the News Tribune value, and we hope you, our subscribers, do too.

Today is the last day of National Newspaper Week, when newspapers across the country emphasize the role newspapers have in the community and history.

As community engagement editor, I strive to find ways the News Tribune can continue to be a resource to the community, while spurring conversations among residents and officials about important issues. But I also want to know what topics and stories are of interest to community members and how the News Tribune can best tell those stories.

Community engagement is something we don't take lightly. We have created several outlets that allow us to chat with community members and gain a better understanding of what our readers expect of us.

Coffee with the Editor

Every month, Managing Editor Gary Castor invites residents to sit down over a hot cup of joe and chat about issues or achievements in the community, from the bridge to Adrian's Island to the new Capital City High School to local nonprofits providing assistance to those in need.

Within the last couple of years, the News Tribune began inviting representatives from different organizations to attend Coffee with the Editor to help encourage conversations between residents and officials.

The upcoming Coffee with the Editor is set for 8 a.m. at High Rise Bakery, 118 E. High St. Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin will be this month's special guest.

Election forums

Community engagement goes beyond looking for story ideas. We want to provide a platform where community members can learn about issues and openly discuss them.

The News Tribune will be hosting forums for local, county, state and school board officials running for elected offices. Our moderators ask candidates questions we think the community needs to answered, but we also open it up to community members, asking them to submit questions for the candidates.

Reader Advisory Board

An adjunct advisory board to the News Tribune Editorial Board, the Reader Advisory Board consists of five community members who meet monthly to discuss issues they are hearing or seeing in the community, as well as suggest possible stories that reporters have not already pursued.

Members on the Reader Advisory Board have a wide variety of experiences and bring their own unique perspectives to the table.

Those interested in joining the Reader Advisory Board can email Castor at [email protected]

Social media

Social media has become one of the largest platforms for news and conversations, and we haven't overlooked it. In fact, we have embraced it within recent years.

On our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), we encourage anyone to like, share and comment on our stories and posts.

We also want to give back to the community we call home, whether that's through volunteer work or raffling off items, and social media has been the perfect platform for us. Recently, the News Tribune raffled off tickets to HALO's INSPIRE Conference and the East Side Business Association's BBQ.

Partnering with organizations

Our reporters and photographers work daily with local groups such as the United Way of Central Missouri, Building Community Bridges, Jefferson City Public Schools, and all levels of government. But we want to go beyond just covering local organizations - we want to partner with them to bring better stories to our readers.

We enjoy partnering with local groups to highlight individuals and programs within the community.

Recently, the News Tribune partnered with the Jefferson City Chapter of Zonta to showcase seven women, as well as the historical or local women who inspire them.

Every year, the News Tribune and the United Way of Central Missouri partner around the holidays to bring readers the "Christmas Wish" series, which tells the stories of individuals from a handful of the nonprofit's partner agencies.

There's always room for improvement, though. We want to continue to find ways to better engage our readers and community. Do you have some suggestions on how we might do this? Email Nicole Roberts, community engagement editor, at [email protected]

As community engagement editor at the News Tribune, Nicole Roberts seeks ways to improve communication between the News Tribune and the community, as well as within the community itself.

Print Headline: Tribune strengthening community ties through engagement efforts


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