Boomer Reporting Corps

A Project of Encore Leadership Corps

Given the changing media climate nationwide, citizen and grassroots journalism is becoming increasingly vital to keeping community members informed of key local issues. Citizen journalism involves citizens taking an active role in reporting, analyzing and disseminating community news.

The Boomer Reporting Corps (BRC) is an initiative to provide specialized mentoring and general skill-building workshops to Encore Leadership Corps members in the fall and winter of 2012 and spring of 2013. This effort,  designed to encourage older adults throughout Maine to become citizen journalists, was being undertaken in response to a growing interest among our membership in creating community news outlets, including newsletters, blogs, websites, and columns in local newspapers.

The BRC initiative helped older adults who were already bringing about positive change in their communities share local news through new media vehicles, helping to increase access to community news across Maine.

–– Training and Skills Building
A series of six workshops devoted to journalistic and new media skills, tools, techniques and ethics was offered in fall 2012 and spring 2013.

–– Mentorship
New Media experts worked closely with ENCorps members to help them plan, produce and evaluate their reporting projects.

–– Connections with Local Media
ENCorps staff and new media experts participating in these efforts worked closely with the Maine Press Association and their member publications to identify avenues for members to publish articles both locally and statewide.

–– ENCorps Blog & Multimedia Showcase
The BRC members showcased the fruits of their reporting on The Boomer Reporting Corps blog site.

–– Media Convening
The Maine Community Foundation and BRC hosted a media convening in spring 2013 to bring together ENCorps members, professional journalists and new media experts from around the state to discuss the role of citizen journalists and their relationship to professional media.

Funding for the Boomer Reporting Corps is provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.