OUR KEY PRIORITIES

Resolve Philly’s strategic plan consists of five key priorities: Collaborative Solutions Journalism, Sustainability, Practicing Allyship, Transforming How Communities Engage with News and Information, and Building a Community of Leaders. We have set three overarching goals for each priority, and have highlighted measures of success and current/future activities for each.


SUSTAINABILITY

Twenty years ago, Philadelphia was known as one of the most competitive local media landscapes in the country and now we are known nationally for being one of the most, if not the most, collaborative. Additionally, Philadelphia has become a hotbed for solutions journalism - the practice of rigorous reporting on solutions to complex problems - with funders like Knight Foundation, Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Solutions Journalism Network, and Independence Public Media Foundation investing heavily in its practice in Philly’s local news ecosystem.

Resolve plugs in where we are most helpful, focusing our resources where we can be most effective. We are proving through our Broke in Philly partners, those newsrooms executing our current collaborative reporting project which will last through April 2023, that when newsrooms collaborate around stories or coordinate coverage, it creates mutual benefit.

We take our role as a pioneer in the local news collaboration space seriously. We are constantly challenging boundaries to produce and sustain initiatives that result in better journalism, enhanced capacity within the Philadelphia news ecosystem, and real impact in our communities.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, we dedicate resources where we can be most effective, including helping to raise the profile of innovative programs and initiatives that complement our work. Effective collaboration also requires trust. Resolve Philly seeks to create a virtuous circle of trusted relationships between and among journalists and communities. We believe that when the news is told responsibly and serves and reaches the people it covers, it inspires communities to trust journalists and journalism. In turn, they will be more likely to add their voice and perspective in the future.


PRACTICING ALLYSHIP

We define allyship as, “a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency and accountability.” We practice allyship by making intentional choices about how we partner with colleague organizations, how we spend our money, and the types of businesses with which we prioritize building relationships. We believe there is great power in allyship and community investment for personal, professional, and economic growth within historically misrepresented communities and we want our organization to be a positive force towards this end.

In one example of this practice, we identified three different companies — all owned by business owners from underrepresented communities — to cater one of our 2019 events, opening up access to future opportunities and growth for these businesses. The event goal was to enable attendees to participate in conversations on economic growth and mobility where they are typically absent and to provide under-represented attendees with opportunities to engage with journalists. This event, which ten of our reporting partners participated in or covered in some way, drew more than 500 people and boasted record attendance from communities of color for the space where the event was held.

Another way we are practicing allyship is by developing resources based on the collaborative solutions journalism model that Broke in Philly partners have pioneered. With the model gaining increasing recognition and attracting interest from across the globe, we are often asked whether Resolve plans to launch and lead similar efforts in other places. While being at the helm replication is not a part of Resolve’s strategy, we do see a massive opportunity for us to plug in and leverage our learnings. Over the coming years, we will produce useful and accessible resources, including guidebooks, best practices, and frameworks for implementation that will be made available to journalists around the world. We see this as a demonstration of allyship; it is not our place to parachute in and launch collaborative projects in communities that we don’t belong to.


COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM

Twenty years ago, Philadelphia was known as one of the most competitive local media landscapes in the country and now we are known nationally for being one of the most, if not the most, collaborative. Additionally, Philadelphia has become a hotbed for solutions journalism - the practice of rigorous reporting on solutions to complex problems - with funders like Knight Foundation, Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Solutions Journalism Network, and Independence Public Media Foundation investing heavily in its practice in Philly’s local news ecosystem.

Resolve plugs in where we are most helpful, focusing our resources where we can be most effective. We are proving through our Broke in Philly partners, those newsrooms executing our current collaborative reporting project which will last through April 2023, that when newsrooms collaborate around stories or coordinate coverage, it creates mutual benefit.

We take our role as a pioneer in the local news collaboration space seriously. We are constantly challenging boundaries to produce and sustain initiatives that result in better journalism, enhanced capacity within the Philadelphia news ecosystem, and real impact in our communities.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, we dedicate resources where we can be most effective, including helping to raise the profile of innovative programs and initiatives that complement our work. Effective collaboration also requires trust. Resolve Philly seeks to create a virtuous circle of trusted relationships between and among journalists and communities. We believe that when the news is told responsibly and serves and reaches the people it covers, it inspires communities to trust journalists and journalism. In turn, they will be more likely to add their voice and perspective in the future.


TRANSFORMING HOW COMMUNITIES ENGAGE WITH NEWS AND INFORMATION

Resolve Philly wants to revolutionize how local news is reported so that it is centered in community voices and solutions, and revolves around equitable and collaborative processes. We seek to better equip historically misrepresented communities with accessible data, news, and information that is useful, accurate, and representative. We aim to change how journalists view and value the perspectives of community members, promoting trust in community experiences and dismantling deficit models. By reframing community challenges around strengths, highlighting effective and proven solutions, and reporting on events with accuracy and dignity, local journalism has the potential to be a force for personal and community growth. This is the basis of our community engagement framework.

Research demonstrates that successful community engagement outcomes hinge on building relationships of trust and accountability with community members through addressing issues of relevance, in a way that is accurate and representative, and following-through on proposed changes and ideas. These processes can be measured over time and that data can be used to continually evolve community engagement practices. Successful community-engaged reporting requires the collaborative effort of internal and external stakeholders and partners — reporters, editors, publishers, funders — working alongside and listening to members of the community to create reporting that can be “of value” to community members.

Through monthly community meet-ups facilitated by Resolve’s Community Engagement Editor, the Community Standards Panel (one of the ‘analog’ components of the Reframe suite of tools being piloted in Summer 2020), the establishment of mechanisms that enable our reporting partners to efficiently and respectfully receive and respond to feedback and corrections from community members, and a host of other news, data, and storytelling engagement opportunities, we are committed to setting a new standard of community engagement with local news.


BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF LEADERS

It’s no secret that investing in leadership development among the ranks of an organization can often be the ultimate differentiator between organizations that are agile, efficient, impactful, and lasting, and those that aren’t. Resolve Philly is taking this investment one step further with a deep commitment to our role in building a community of leaders -- within Resolve Philly, among our newsroom partners, and indeed, across our entire community.

One of the ways in which we are carrying out this work is through skill development and the expansion of capacity in our newsroom partners. Resolve Philly identified a gap around data journalism in our local news community. Good data journalism requires resources that many of our newsroom partners just don’t have. Through modeling, training and professional development with the Broke in Philly partners, and the co-creation of data journalism pieces, Resolve Philly is building a community of leaders in data journalism among the members of the reporting collaborative. Not only will this investment lead to the development of individuals and expanded capacity in newsrooms, but with a critical mass of local news media engaging in better data journalism practices, we expect impact at the community level as well.

Our vision of a community of leaders looks quite different from a more traditional leadership model, with transformation and decision-making driven from the top, down. Through internal professional development for our team, skill- and capacity-building among our newsroom partners, and meaningful (paid) internship and fellowship programs for members of our community who are interested in storytelling and the delivery of news and information, Resolve Philly works to build leaders that reach out from the core, not down from the top.


CONCLUSION

Our projects create the tools and opportunities for journalists to execute their work differently. Over the next five years, Resolve Philly will invest in technology that empowers community connection, reporting collectives that generate collaborative coverage on community-driven solutions, and innovative networks for coordinating reporting on important topics. We invite you to join us.