Getting Started

Photography by Janet Saidi.

If you’re wondering whether you can do something like this in your community, we say yes. The conversations-based journalism model can help any newsroom reach into communities where voices often go unheard. Here’s how…

The pop-up

A POP-UP is a short event co-hosted by the newsroom and a community partner that requires minimal gear and human power to achieve.

So what do you do?

Locate an ally who’s a member of the community you’re seeking to reach. Suggest that their outreach begins before scheduling and confirming the event to help gauge possible responses.

Adjust your journalism posture. Be ready to listen without an agenda. Allow each participant to be the expert of their own story. In other words, show up, then shut up. 

Suggested starting points: heavily used public spaces (parks, libraries, festivals, farmer’s markets, the grocery store, post office), multi-unit housing properties.

Collage by Moy Zhong with photography by Becca Newton.


  1. Identify target community
  2. Identify and contact community leaders
  3. Clearly explain your goals and production space needed and talk through questions or concerns
  4. Ask for location/venue and other contact recommendations
  5. Select an agreeable date and time
  6. Let the community know about the upcoming opportunity (local paper, local library, etc.)
  7. Reconfirm all details the day before the event, answer any last-minute questions

For a more in-depth look at hosting a pop-up and why, read our blog on “Connecting with Community, One Conversation at a Time.”