CINCINNATI — Every four years, America turns its attention to Ohio. And for good reason.
Our Midwestern "flyover state" has voted for the winning presidential candidate in 29 of the last 31 presidential elections. That's from 1896 on.
As the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic looms large in the media landscape, Richland Source has joined a collaborative project with a more localized focus.
Journalists from six news outlets across the state came together to give local national and global audiences some advanced insights into our state's electoral magic, straight from the people who know it best — Ohioans. All kinds.
The nonprofit audio storytelling platform, A Picture’s Worth (APW), supported the creation of Ohio Values, a collaborative suite of audio stories and related images that center community members in narratives focused on their core values and how those values "show up" when they vote in 2020.
“Not only will Ohio Values provide a suite of local-media-branded audio and digital stories available for use by national and international media outlets looking to gain authentic insights from the state, it will serve as a scalable test case to increase the reach, depth and connections between local and national media outlets in a concerted effort to tell more responsible, authentic and representative narratives about the concerns and priorities of citizens from disparate areas and backgrounds,” said Elissa Yancey, co-founder and chief creative officer of APW.
The new statewide responsible journalism collaborative started in February with APW providing specialized training and support to reporters across the state. Journalists learned how to use the story-gathering methods of "A Picture’s Worth" and agreed to make the resulting content free and open for all to use, with credit to original sources, of course.
Collaborative members of the Ohio Values project include:
• WCPO, Cincinnati
• The Cincinnati Herald, Cincinnati
• Richland Source, Mansfield
• Ashland Source, Ashland
• Knox Pages, Mount Vernon
• The Devil Strip, Akron
Ohio Values intentionally connects local newsrooms and reporters with one another throughout Ohio to provide them with valuable exposure to and hands-on experience with an exciting new methodology for practicing responsible journalism. Based upon years of journalism practice, research and neuroscience, "A Picture’s Worth" provides actionable training and support that enables journalists to:
● Acknowledge the inherent power dynamics in their work alongside communities where distrust in journalism is the norm
● Center their community members in their narratives
● Build thoughtful, effective, community-focused engagement efforts that nurture trust and understanding across differences
● Share these community-centered narratives to audiences across the state, the country and the world.
This audio story series, Ohio Values, is intentionally not political, although you will hear some stories that involve political topics and issues. Instead, we made an intentional choice to focus on our people, sharing photographs and stories about what they value the most, whether they're heading into a voting booth or weathering a pandemic.
Visit http://apicturesworth.org for more details about the Ohio Values collaborative.