Modifier brings the experiences and expertise of Resolve Philly’s Community Engagement (CE) team to our practice change work. Our team directly engages with, and broadens the visibility of, communities who have long had limited access to tools and mechanisms for elevating their own narratives.
We do this because we believe it makes journalism better—and that is what leads to more just and equitable societies. By bridging the gap between historically mis- or under-represented communities and journalists, we increase trust and make local reporting more useful to the people it’s intended to serve.
To carry out this work, the team builds relationships with grassroots or small community-oriented organizations and individuals in a way that is impactful instead of extractive or transactional. The CE team facilitates small conversation and deep listening sessions, known as Sound OFFs, in order to understand information needs and what’s happening at the most local level in our city more fully. They also play a key role in enabling personal narratives from communities of color and other excluded communities to be published or broadcast at a city-wide level. Our team creatively disseminates valuable resources, information, and local service journalism produced by our Broke in Philly partners to people in neighborhoods that have limited online access.
Thanks to this work, our CE team is a recognized leader in the journalism industry, having developed a set of adaptable best practices for building trust and centering community voices in reporting. Modifier offers CE support to newsrooms and collaboratives across the country, through trainings and workshops on building community/neighborhood partnerships and facilitating long-term trust-building.
Using our training curriculum as a foundation, we work with clients to define and achieve their specific CE goals by providing advisory support, capacity building, and thought-partnership, as well as harnessing our own network. Modifier has experience in supporting newsrooms ranging from small hyperlocal collectives to large local broadcast stations and papers-of-record; our team has worked with several local and regional collaboratives. Modifier also supports value-aligned non-profits and academic institutions that are seeking to do more authentic and less extractive research and engagement. The lead consultants for this work are Derrick Cain and Jingyao Yu.