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Given the changing media climate nationwide, citizen and grassroots journalism is becoming increasingly vital to keeping community members informed of key local issues. Citizen journalism involves citizens taking an active role in reporting, analyzing and disseminating community news.

The Boomer Reporting Corps (BRC), an initiative of Encore Leadership Corps, provides specialized mentoring and general skill-building workshops to Mainers 50 years old and older. Designed to encourage older adults throughout Maine to become citizen journalists, the project helps these older adults create community news outlets, newsletters, blogs, websites, columns in local newspapers, and more.

 What is Boomer Reporting Corps?

–– Training and Skills Building

A series of six workshops devoted to journalistic and new media skills, tools, techniques and ethics was offered in fall 2012 and spring 2013.

–– Connections with Local Media

ENCorps staff and new media experts participating in these efforts worked closely with the Maine Press Association and their member publications to identify avenues for members to publish articles both locally and statewide.

–– Media Convening

The Maine Community Foundation and BRC hosted a media convening in spring 2013 to bring together ENCorps members, professional journalists and new media experts from around the state to discuss the role of citizen journalists and their relationship to professional media.

NPR reporter Quil Lawrence, a Maine native, was the keynote speaker of the 2013 Encore Leadership Corps Summit. Lawrence spoke about growing up in rural Maine and the importance of citizen journalism.

Funding for the Boomer Reporting Corps is provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.