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With the Online News Association 2016 conference, also known as $ONA16, here, new ideas and projects abound.

Here are endeavors that could give you fuel to enhance your station.

  1. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, First Draft, Google News Lab, ProPublica, Univision News, the USA Today Network and WNYC are working to help local newsrooms report on the election via ElectionLand. This initiative gets different organizations working together for a common goal: to help audiences assess the presidential race, to fact check and offer context to the headlines.
  2. There’s a similar project happening in Texas, with newsrooms (like yours) working with other newsrooms in the state to explain and cover the elections. It’s called #TXDecides.
  3. Is hard news bias shutting out communities of color from the news? A provocative essay from folks at Hearken talks about how biases in what’s news may exclude people of color. “When journalists talk about diversity in news, we often talk about the need for more reporters, editors, and publishers of color (this is extremely important!). We also talk about consulting with diverse sources, and not seeking out people of color just for Stories About Race (also very important!!!). But we don’t often talk about the need to publish more diverse stories by and about communities of color.”
  4. The Center for Cooperative Media has launched its new Local/National News Partnerships project. The objective? To localize national content. Look at NJ News Commons, which aggregates news for New Jersey as well as video and more.
  5. A new report on Medium reflects on building community through innovation, citing the importance of Medium and other tools to generate audience engagement. Using the KQED collaboration Bay Curious, the authors say, “Execution of KQED’s audience-first strategy also extends to the newsroom. News stories should be reflective of what is important to the community, but the traditional journalism information model too often assumes that the role of reporters is to tell audiences what they think they should know. Stories covered by the media do not always match the kinds of things people are really interested in. How could the newsroom develop stories that increasingly reflect audiences’ interests in the media that they’re listening to?”

Happy community radio-ing, collaborating and celebrating your audience!

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