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Gannett Trying ‘Storytelling Nights’ to Reconnect With Communities
By: Doug Bedell
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Nine Gannett newspapers are taking monthly plunges into practicing journalism as a kind of performance art. They’re building around the four-year-old Arizona Storytellers Project of the Arizona Republic’s Megan Finnerty. 

The monthly evening sessions bring journalists directly in touch with the folks they hope will continue reading the news the Gannet papers generate about their communities. The Washington Post has similar events known as Washington Post Live and Politico has Politico Events.

The idea is to get people refocused on the idea of gaining information on their communities from professional sources – what used to be journalists’ exclusive stock in trade. “We know, for instance, that Millennials and Gen Xers are very big consumers of experiential content,”  says Liz Nelson, director of strategic consumer engagement at Gannett. 

Photo: Arizona Republic reporter Bob Ortega tells a story at one of his paper’s storytelling events.  

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About the Author
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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