Our Vocabulary

When we use certain vocab to describe our work, we want to be clear about what we mean. Words matter, and these have helped us to adequately identify the challenges communities face in accessing local news and information in the U.S.

Listening Post Collective

A group of people and projects dedicated to identifying, creating, and supporting community spaces (digital and offline) where people get and share important news and information.​

News Desert(s)

Places that historically, or more recently, have found themselves without access to daily, local news and information, or lacking in equitable representation in existing media. ​

Civic Engagement

Individual or collective acts focused on addressing issues of public concern.​

Civic Power

Power that is exercised by residents to influence civic life through a variety of channels.​

Civic Media Design

The process by which we work with partners to develop news and information solutions with potential to increase civic engagement. ​

Civic Media

Media that fosters civic engagement.


The acronym refers to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color.​


The distribution of resources and opportunities to address imbalanced social systems.​

Information Garden(s)

A community where everyone has equitable access to high-quality, culturally-relevant, civic information in their own language on the local issues they care about.

*Equitable Media

A truly representative industry that includes media organizations, enterprises, and projects—both new and old, for-profit and nonprofit—by and for people of color.*

*As defined by the Ford Foundation/Transform Media 2020 report ‘Investing in Equitable News and Media Projects’