New model for supporting local, community-based stories that are life-giving, generative is off to a positive start
By: Michelle Strutzenberger
The New Scoop team recently took time to reflect as well as thank all those who have helped launch the news initiative in Calgary.
Officially live for about 14 weeks, New Scoop has been a rapid experiment in surfacing, supporting and circulating local, community-based stories that are life-giving and generative. Early feedback has been encouraging.
People are sharing appreciation and encouragement as they read the stories. The number of people engaging through the New Scoop Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as with the New Scoop e-publication provide statistical evidence that this initiative is being received as useful and worthy of time and attention.
New Scoop would not be where it is today without the commitments and gifts of a number of people and organizations.
Sarah Arthurs, a key champion of the effort, expresses gratitude for all of these supporters, including New Scoop steering committee members who have come together and worked to help make this initiative happen over the last six months: Mark Durieux, Sidney Craig Courtice, Greg O’Neill, Sharon Ulrich and Peter Pula.
“Sydney and Mark have been fabulous,” Sarah says. “They’re both very well networked people both personally and in their professional lives and have been able to bring those links to the work we’ve been able to do so far.”
The support of Mark, a social entrepreneur and author of Social Entrepreneurship for Dummies, has also been highly valued. And Greg has been a great coach and mentor with respect to launching the initiative as a co-op. “Greg has contributed a lot of pro bono work, (sharing) his wisdom and smarts in terms of what steps need to be in place as we (form the co-operative),” Sarah says.
Sharon’s strengths and background in editing and writing have also been much appreciated, including her crafting of one of New Scoop’s inaugural stories.And Peter and Axiom News have been “right down in the trenches building this with us,” Sarah says. The Axiom News team has provided the website design, written content and publishing and social media services, not to mention the consultative support from Peter, some of it pro bono.
Otherwise, New Scoop is grateful to Versett Inc. for its pro-bono design of the New Scoop logo as well as to Cities for People and the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation for their financial and moral backing. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without that catalytic support and recognition that what we were doing was worthy of (support),” Sarah says.
With its commitment to operating as a co-operative, it’s hoped New Scoop will model an alternative, sustainable approach to supporting local, community-based stories that are life-giving and generative.
The work could be described as both collecting stories and shaping Calgary’s cultural story, all of which is centred on themes such as relatedness, co-operation, local vitality, resilience and creativity.
“We’re hoping that within the scope of New Scoop we can create more space for an alternate story with a capital S to have time and exposure and value,” Sarah says.
New Scoop is a new Calgary news co-op, using generative journalism to explore and share stories of our thriving city. The pilot phase has received support from Cities for People. These are only a few of the many energy points in Calgary that the New Scoop has spotlighted since its launch:
- the high-level political support for a citywide plan to really make a dent in the city’s poverty levels
- the regular citizens trying to build community with what they have in front of them, such as these two women in Lincoln Park
- the church practicing radical hospitality through its weekly community meals. — An Interfaith Council that’s saying it’s going to put its hands where its mouth is and collectively add its gifts to shrinking poverty
- a new community economic learning community that includes both learning from the “experts” and peer-to-peer learning
- the ongoing efforts to create new seniors’ housing options that are truly community-based.
A version of this article was originally written for the New Scoop Calgary news co-op and this version was posted by Axiom News on Monday 19 January 2015. We received permission to re-post.
Michelle Strutzenberger has more than 10 years of experience in Generative Journalism with Axiom News. Her areas of interest include deep community, social-mission business, education that strengthens a sense of hope and possibility, and journalism that helps society create its preferred future.