Create a Shared Vision for Your Newsroom
In any newsroom, there's rarely time to step back and reflect on internal goals or imagine how we could do things differently. This exercise is intended to help surface some of these goals and identify a shared vision, what we call a "North Star," for how you could achieve an internal, organizational goal you’re working on.
After this exercise, you'll will walk away with:
A creative, fun opportunity to reflect on the role you play within the newsroom
Specific outcomes are important to your organization
An understanding of what would constitute success and/or impact
30 - 60 minutes
Materials + set-up
This exercise works best with a diverse group of people from the newsroom. Consider different roles, experiences, and backgrounds when convening. Remember to have a topic or goal chosen ahead of time that you will focus on for this session.
Materials needed: flip chart paper, sticky notes, plain paper, markers
Here's what you need to get started
Create A Shared Vision For Your Newsroom
Fold a piece of paper in half. On one half of the paper, draw a picture (stick figures are fine!) of what it looks like when you, personally, have achieved your goal, or North Star.
On the other half of the paper, draw a picture of what your organization looks like when it’s achieved your stated goal, or North Star. Don’t overthink it! The idea here is to generate playful ideas.
For example, if you’re wanting to strengthen collaboration in your newsroom, you would draw:
A picture of yourself at your best, most collaborative
A picture of your newsroom at its best, most collaborative
Share and explain your drawings to the group. As everyone shares out, one person should capture key words and phrases on a flip chart or individual Post-It notes.
Define your North Star
Looking at all of the key words and phrases captured, work as a group to develop 1-3 sentences that capture the most common ideas shared. This should articulate some of the core values and characteristics you’re working toward – your North Star.
If this is as far as you’re going in the series of exercises, hang this up in the newsroom for staff to keep in mind as they work. If you’re going to keep going, hang this in the front of the room to remind everyone what you’re working toward as you complete the next exercises.