Past Event

2016 People-Powered Publishing Conference


Congratulations to Jordan Wirfs-Brock and Angilee Shah, our inaugural Audience Engagement Fellows!  Learn more about their work below.

View the conference session schedule and listen to the sessions from the main room and the basement.

On the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes, the journalism field faces an unprecedented set of challenges. We’re living in a time of drastic change, but it’s also an exciting time of innovation. In newsrooms, nonprofits and universities, civic-minded journalists, developers, and engagement practitioners are building tools and telling stories that put audiences first, and push the envelope of the traditional reporting process.

In partnership with Hearken, GroundSource, City Bureau and the Crowd Powered News Network and with support from the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative, Illinois Humanities is convening these like-minded pioneers for a one-day conference highlighting innovative projects and practices that build stronger connections between reporters and the publics they cover. This conference aims to provide opportunities to share resources, talk about what’s working, and strengthen one another’s work. That evening, we’ll feature keynote speaker Melissa Harris-Perry in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival for a special live event.

Keynote Partner

Chicago Humanities Festival logoThis program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival, which connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew.


Conference Co-presenters

HearkenHearken, GroundSource, City Bureau, and Crowd Powered News Network logos is an audience-driven model and platform enabling newsrooms to meaningfully engage the public throughout the reporting process, resulting in original, relevant and high-performing content.

GroundSource is a community engagement platform that powers direct, two-way conversations between newsrooms and the communities they serve, to gather on-the-ground perspectives and build lasting relationships.

City Bureau is a newsroom and journalism training lab that seeks to regenerate civic media ecosystems within historically disenfranchised and underreported neighborhoods, and to create a sustainable pipeline of innovative and locally responsive reporting on the city’s South and West sides.

The Crowd-Powered News Network is a group of media professionals and others who are actively engaging communities — both online and offline — in the creation of journalism. It is a place to share practical information about community outreach, experimental storytelling, new technologies, job opportunities, and more.


This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work.

For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.


For more information, please contact Simon Nyi.