Giving Compass' Take:

• KPCC in Southern California is shifting away from traditional journalism to cover the 2020 Census. The outlet will try to explain the implications of an undercount rather than present general information about the Census.

• How can donors get involved in ensuring an accurate count in the 2020 Census?

• Here is why the U.S. 2020 Census is critical.

The 2020 census will be unlike any before it, and that’s not just because of the White House’s push to include a citizenship question on the constitutionally mandated decennial count of every person living in the United States.

The 2020 census will be the first ever conducted primarily online, a move that has raised major privacy concerns. While respondents can still reply by phone or request paper copies, the Census Bureau’s push will be for digital participation. The stakes are as high as ever: The count determines the distribution of more than $800 billion as well as Congressional representation. It has also inspired KPCC, a public media organization in Southern California, to think more critically and creatively about how we reach and serve specific audiences.

KPCC is one of many newsrooms that, over the last 10 years, has made a shift away from traditional journalism — reporters telling people what they should know — to embrace a focus on audience curiosity and information needs (and, increasingly, habits). What does this mean? In practice, it means moving away from editors deciding what’s important for the general audience to, instead, involving community members in the process of determining the newsroom’s focus (through research, community engagement, surveys, and other methods).

Our newsroom knows the census is a big story for our community, but before we assigned a single reporter, we wanted to better understand how our journalism could be most impactful. Rather than reporting simply what people should know, we wanted to provide information that would help Southern California residents understand a complicated but critical component of our democratic process, including the implications of an undercount. It’s important to note that as a newsroom, we’re not advocating for people to participate in the census but instead aiming to activate them to seek out more information.

Read the full article about journalism that is helping seek clarity on the census by Ashley Alvarado at Medium.