Newsroom across the globe are recognizing the importance of in-real-life engagement to bring communities together. Here are three projects challenging our increasing reliance on social media by hosting face-to-face events and community projects.

  • Nanook's “NYLA Live” is a series of live debates that aims to understand cultural and social forces that shape our world. The purpose of these events is to focus on community issues and invite the public from different social backgrounds and political views to discuss their ideas face to face, instead of going to angry Facebook comments.
  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s “No Refuge Tour” will take audiences across the UK behind the scenes of the Bureau Local’s domestic violence work, with the help of a one-woman comedy show created by one of our collaborators during the course of the investigation. The Refuge Woman will be shown to small local theatres in eight locations across England: Leeds, Carlisle, Lancaster, Norwich, Bristol, Birmingham, Sunderland and London.
  • South Side Newspaper Project's “South Side Photo Walk” aims to document the residents who live in Syracuse's South Side -- an urban community largely ignored by the mainstream media, comprised mostly of African-American residents living largely at or below the poverty line. With this intention, the South Side Newspaper Project offers a photo training by professional photographers followed by a walk through the neighborhood to document a typical Saturday.

This session is a part of the Finding Common Ground initiative that aims to achieve cross-border collaboration with engagement practitioners in the media by supporting projects that get people to look up from their devices, meet people with different opinions, listen, and engage in meaningful and civil dialogue across silos and polarized positions.

Moderator: Jennifer Choi


  • Greg Munno, South Side Newspaper Project’s South Side Photo Walk
  • Karolis Vysniauskas, Nanook’s NYLA Live
  • Maeve McClenaghan, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s No Refuge Tour

Organised in association with the Agora Journalism Center, the gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement, at University of Oregon’s School of Journalism & Communication. Finding Common Ground is made possible through generous grants from Robert Bosch Stiftung and News Integrity Initiative.