MANSFIELD — Richland Source's solutions journalism project "Rising From Rust" was rated fourth in a national listing of 13 local stories that made a difference in 2019, released by Mark Glaser and posted at the Knight Foundation website.
Glaser is executive editor and founder of MediaShift, an organization that provides insight and analysis of media and technology.
"These pieces highlight the best of collaborative journalism, community engagement and national-local partnerships," Glaser wrote. "This selection of 13 local stories that made a difference in 2019 highlight the strategies that can help local journalism both survive and thrive."
Richland Source solutions and engagement editor Brittany Schock and Ashland Source reporter Tracy Leturgey were the lead reporters on the 18-month series. Rising From Rust was supported by multiple stakeholders and newsroom partners, including Spherion, Visiting Nurses Association, PR Machine Works, Nanogate/Jay Systems, DRM Productions, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, Richland Bank, Mechanics Bank and Area Agency on Aging.
The project included a podcast and Hearken-generated community engagement. Rising From Rust also won “Best Solutions Journalism Project” at the LION Publishers 2019 Awards.
One of the award judges said about the project: “I l like how other cities’ experiences were brought into the picture. Shows both community commitment and the use of journalism to get beyond the day-to-day coverage to the big picture issues lived by communities…A good job incorporating Hearken to bring the community voice into the series.”
Glaser's piece highlighted unique and creative journalistic approaches utilized across the nation in 2019.
For example, a partnership between a smaller newsroom and a larger one (as in ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network) helped bring resources to smaller newsrooms to tell complicated, in-depth stories in an extended time frame. And collaborations between multiple stakeholders and reporting partners helped boost the impact of a story and ensure it reaches audiences where they are.
These stories also include alternative reporting approaches, such as solutions journalism and restorative narratives, to help attract more local attention and civic engagement. In many cases the initial stories led to follow-ups and even longer series that created extended interest and impact in the community and beyond.
The stories come from a mix of different kinds of news organizations, including a for-profit newspaper, nonprofit investigative journalism outlet, radio/podcast producer and collaboratives with multiple partners.
The list of stories included outlets stretching from Hawaii to Puerto Rico.