The Beacon’s Community Engagement Bureaus are journalism labs that equip people with skills and resources, engage in critical public conversations with untapped audiences, and produce information that directly addresses people’s needs.
The Community Engagement Bureau Manager works with a team of paid Community Representatives who conduct interviews to help our newsroom grow in understanding of untapped communities. Launched in both Kansas City and Wichita, about a dozen paid community members regularly conduct research and meet with the staff to discuss how these insights can improve our journalism.
As we take in new information, the Bureau Manager unpacks what we’ve heard with the newsroom team and focuses these new insights into actionable next steps and stories. For example, when our Kansas City Community Representatives noticed a pattern of residents not understanding why property taxes were going up, we produced a simple guide explaining how tax assessment works and how homeowners can advocate for themselves. When our Wichita Community Representatives uncovered a need for Spanish language news, we launched a translation project focused on the subjects where information was most needed.