Join the Monitor’s Reader Advisory Board

Engagement editor
Published: 7/6/2022 2:56:17 PM

 

One year ago, we announced a new initiative to bring readers and community-minded individuals together to talk about local news and how the Monitor can better serve its communities. We selected nine volunteers to join us, and we’ve learned a lot since then.

Now, we’re ready to welcome a new group into the newsroom. If you’re active in your community, have a passion for local news, and want to learn more about the work that goes into the Concord Monitor, apply to join our Reader Advisory Board at https://bit.ly/3xlTouf. You do not need to re-apply if you applied for the Reader Advisory Board last year. All previous applications have been saved.

Here’s what to expect as a Reader Advisory Board member

As a board member, your bio will appear at concordmonitor.com, which means people may reach out to you with questions or ideas. Our current board members said they have become a liaison between the newsroom and their community.

Jaime Corwin, a current reader advisory board member, said “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the inner workings of the Monitor. I feel like my voice has been able to represent others who have shared feedback with me and that I’ve been able to help provide guidance, feedback and ideas on various stories.”

Discussion and an exchange of ideas are at the base of this program. We want it to grow and change and we rely on our board members to give their input on changes and improvements for the board initiative moving forward.

One of the biggest commitments we ask of Reader Advisory Board members is to read the Monitor regularly and tell us what they think. Take notes about what you read, what caught your eye, and how it made you feel, along with other thoughts it might have prompted. This can be story ideas, people you think we should talk to, themes you see, questions you have, or if a story just made you smile or learn something cool about your community.

A commitment to active participation

If accepted as a Reader Advisory Board member, you are committing to a one-year term on the board beginning January 2023. You’re expected to attend monthly board meetings, typically held in the Monitor building. We know life happens, but given the active participation role the board requires, we ask that if you sign on you will do your best to attend regularly.

As a board member, you must be able to respect diverse opinions. Each board member will have their own unique perspective. This is great. We want board members who are passionate and locally-focused, ready to share their opinion and expertise while also being open and able to listen — to consider other viewpoints and talk about them. The Reader Advisory Board is a space for conversation and exchange, not conflict. We ask that you come ready to consider the bigger picture on a topic and incorporate a wider worldview when needed.

What will the meetings and discussion look like?

Like the news of the day, each meeting’s discussion topic will look a little different, depending on what’s happening in our communities and what the board members and editors feel is most pressing to talk about. However, meetings will always include announcements and updates from the Monitor team and a conversation about any thoughts or questions that came up when reading the Monitor.

You can expect to hear from and ask questions to reporters, as well as staff from different departments who will share how things work at the Monitor for advertising, digital and editorial. We’ll also take a tour of our printing facility in Penacook.

A lot of what we talk about will be guided by what the cohort is interested in learning and what the Monitor team would like to learn from the board members. 

“I joined the Board because the Concord Monitor has meant a lot to us for decades and I was impressed that they wanted input,” reader board member Gerri King said. “It’s also been fun learning the newspaper’s back story and witnessing how it’s produced and how editorial decisions are made.”

How can I apply?

We’re looking for people who live, work or go to school in a town or city in the Monitor’s coverage area who are involved in their local community and passionate about local news. Anyone interested in being a Reader Advisory Board member can submit an application through our online form at https://bit.ly/3xlTouf. Applications will be accepted until the end of July.

How will the board be selected?

A selection committee will evaluate and choose 8 to 12 board members with the goal of including a wide range of perspectives and experiences. For example, we want to avoid the board being made up of people from the same town or age group. The selection committee will include current board members and Monitor editors.

To ensure fairness, those who currently hold elected positions at any level or are otherwise considered public figures or those with a role in locally connected public relations or communications will not be chosen for the Reader Advisory Board to avoid conflicts of interest.

Follow along for updates on the Reader Advisory Board at concordmonitor.com/Opinion/To-Our-Readers and reach out to aginwala@cmonitor.com with any questions.




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