The Relevance Project thanks Phil Lucey and the North Carolina Press Association for the opportunity to talk Community Forum at the annual conference in Raleigh on Aug. 25. It was impressive to learn that a couple of newspapers had Community Forum-like approaches underway as part of either the Google News Initiative or Poynter’s Table Stakes programs. I hope the Relevance Project’s resources can further help other outreach efforts as well as jumpstart newspapers that want deeper relationships with readers and new ways to reach wider audiences. It was clear from the give-and-take responses at the lunchtime session that North Carolina newspapers know the best local issues to tee up for a Community Forum series. And they know the importance of explaining the newspaper’s Relevant mission as well as efforts to improve the media literacy of their news consumers. Since The Relevance Project’s start, North Carolina Press has been one of the biggest supporters. It was great to return the favor for their consistent advocacy. Finally, it also was fun to be back in friendly North Carolina where I spent many days in roles for Richmond-based Media General Inc. Lots of good memories. That makes it easy to cheer: North Carolina, be THE Community Forum.
–-Tom Silvestri, Executive Editor, The Relevance Project