Wichita Documenters launches this spring

March 27, 2024 | Stories

Public meetings are spaces where residents can witness, learn about, and act on the systems that impact their lives. Yet, some meetings happen without media or public representation, leading to undocumented decisions that shape local policies.

Wichita Documenters is using a people-powered approach to fill this gap. 

As part of the Documenters Network, a national program powered by City Bureau, Wichita Documenters will recruit, train and pay Wichitans to attend and take notes at public meetings. Meeting notes will be fact-checked, published and available to anyone.  

The three-year endeavor is funded by the Press Forward Wichita Fund at the Wichita Foundation (WF), managed by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and in collaboration with members of the Wichita Journalism Collaborative (WJC). 

“Participation in the Documenters Network strengthens the Kansas Leadership Center’s ongoing efforts to condition the civic environment in Kansas so residents and organizations can make progress on tough challenges,” said KLC President and CEO Kaye Monk-Morgan.  

Wichita is the first city in Kansas to take part in the growing movement for participatory civic media. The Wichita Documenters joins 19 other Documenters communities, which includes a mix of public media, digital startups and community media outlets. 

“Democracy flourishes when everyone is engaged and involved,” said WF Chief Strategy Officer Courtney Bengtson. “Wichita Documenters will empower community-driven documentation, foster transparency and make information increasingly accessible to all.” 

Interested in becoming a paid documenter this spring? Fill out the interest form at kansasleadershipcenter.org/wichita-documenters

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