BGA to Launch Innovative Engagement Platforms

A grant will fund the cost of two tools, Hearken and GroundSource, to help power meaningful audience engagement in the BGA's watchdog work.

The Better Government Association (BGA) has been selected to receive a grant from the Community Listening and Engagement Fund (CLEF), supported by The News Integrity Initiative, Democracy Fund, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Knight Foundation. The CLEF grant will subsidize the cost of two groundbreaking audience engagement tools, Hearken and GroundSource, that will help the BGA identify information gaps, foster an inclusive reporting environment and generate more relevant reporting. Both Hearken and GroundSource have been tested and proven to power meaningful audience engagement in newsrooms across the country.

This grant follows a year of focused efforts to deepen the local community’s involvement in the BGA’s watchdog work. In 2017, the BGA hired its first ever Engagement Editor to build digital promotional packages around programmatic work, particularly for social media use, and spark meaningful conversations with community members relating to specific investigative and policy work. “Hearken and GroundSource envision engagement as something more than a comment section or a tweet. These tools are about opening the BGA to the public in meaningful ways, creating new channels to reach the public and for the public to reach us,” said Mia Sato, BGA’s Engagement Editor.

Click here to read the full CLEF announcement.

Founded in 1923, the BGA is Illinois’ only non-partisan, investigative and watchdog organization. For 95 years, the BGA has supported high impact investigative journalism, fulfilled an essential fact-checking role and advocated on behalf of good governance. The BGA’s mission is to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing waste, fraud and corruption, advocating effective public policy and informing and engaging the community.

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