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Spaceship Heads to the Desert

Douglas Local, a pilot of our Spaceship Local initiative, is now up and running! We’re taking our method of Dialogue Journalism into a small, economically depressed border town in southeastern Arizona to build community and provide information and reporting. Douglas is the hometown of our Director of Innovation, Adriana García, and we’re excited to launch our work there by bringing residents together to talk about pride and identity. The conversation will explore the complexity and nuance of what it means to live along the U.S./Mexico border with people who live there. We are proud to be partnering with many local community members and organizations in Douglas!

A New Journalist Comes Onboard

We are super psyched to add Aaliyah Montoya to our ranks for Douglas Local! Aaliyah continues her work as a journalist in Douglas following five years covering everything from local politics to rural hospitals and a military plane crash for the Daily Dispatch. Aaliyah joins us as project coordinator and reporter; we are grateful for her local knowledge, enthusiasm and skill! You can read more about Douglas Local and Aaliyah on our project site.

Shouting Out Reckon | Women

At the Online News Association conference, Adriana García lent support to Rebecca Walker Benjamin who oversees strategy for audience and engagement growth for, a longtime Spaceship partner. Rebecca spoke about's Facebook group Reckon | Women. The group, a recipient of round two of a Facebook Journalism Project Community Network grant, is supported by Spaceship Media with planning and moderation. Reckon | Women is a space to discuss political and social issues of relevance to Alabamians and Southern women. The group brings experts to answer members’ questions, interaction with journalists, and supported conversation among members looking to better conditions for Southern women. It’s also spun off a newsletter, you can subscribe here.

Speaking of the Grant Funding ... 

Spaceship Media’s Douglas Local project was chosen as one of the initial recipients of Facebook Journalism Project Community Network grant. The grants are designed to build community by fostering local journalism. “Ultimately we were looking at projects that build community, improve publisher sustainability, cover underserved areas or news deserts” said Josh Mabry, of Facebook’s local news project. We are excited to be part of this network of solutions-seeking journalists. You can read more about it in the Facebook grants in this Neiman Lab article.

More ONAing This Time with JSK

This year ONA celebrated its 20th year where Adriana García lives, New Orleans. There Adriana presented, along with other former John S. Knight fellows, at the JSK Midway booth. Adriana took the stage to update the crowd about the goings on at Spaceship, specifically the Douglas Local project. “I fielded great questions about the local project and our method of reporting for our conversations, FactStacks, and about the difficulty of creating trust in small communities,” Adriana said. 

Information Needs: An Out of This World View 

In a piece called The Take from Outer Space, Spaceship's Adriana García uses Maslow's hierarchy of needs to explore how journalists can meet the information needs of communities. She writes: "polarization begins at the local level and citizens personally know journalists less and less in their communities, trust in journalism declines and democracy suffers. What if instead of creating conversations around single polarizing issues, Spaceship Media hosted and supported more varied conversations in communities? What if we used these conversations to identify and then fulfill the basic information needs of people left behind by traditional news outlets?" The full essay is here

We're Here to Help!

Don’t forget, we have awesome resources at Spaceship Media. Our toolkit, created with the generous support of the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation, is on our website and downloadable! It’s chock full of tips for engaging in your own engagement project, offering an in-depth look at FactStacks (our non-narrative reporting method) and moderation strategies (including wording examples). You can see the toolkit here. Also on our website, a description of Spaceship Media’s consulting offerings, which include help with moderation, project design and talking across difference. Email us for more information!
Enjoy fall!! Spaceship Media
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