What is the Institute of Community Reporters (ICR)?
The Institute of Community Reporters was established in 2012 by People’s Voice Media to act as a representative body for trained Community Reporters across the UK and Europe. The Institute’s aim is to provide a space for people to tell there story of their lived experiences and share their stories and experiences with each other and with a wider audience. We use these stories to challenge perception and allow people to describe their own reality. Stories are curated and used to create conversations of change workshops where the different perspectives are shared to develop the co-production of new practices. Curated pieces of content can be found in the features section on the web site. Other projects and commissions carried out by the ICR can be found here and also on the project section of the web site. Organisations can access the Institute to provide insight on the services or products they offer and develop conversation of change workshops
The Institute of Community Reporters maintains quality standards of Community Reporter's behavior and content via its badging system. The ICR has also adopted the MRS code of conduct for its commissions and insight work. The ICR founded the European Network of Community Reporters (ENCR) in 2013 and currently operates from 26 locations in the UK and 10 locations in Europe using a Social License model that provides Community Reporting practice at a local level.
What is Community Reporting and how can you join?
We have been training Community Reporters since 2007 using our educational approach which is based on the principle of developing a learning community that supports an asset based approach, i.e. seeing value in the skills, knowledge and experience of the learners. We use what we call the TiPPS methodology:
- Teach skills through collaborative working
- Practice skills in the real world
- Peer review to develop skills and knowledge and provide reflective practice
- Share the skills and knowledge with others
The programme includes a variety of storytelling approaches using video, audio, photography and writing. You can see more details here. Our unique approach allows people to tell their own stories in their own way, long after the training has finished.
Who can become a Community Reporter?
Our reporters are varied and represent a broad network of people. This may include someone who is unemployed, from a disadvantaged or excluded group, someone who is interested in their community or has stories to share about their own life or the lives of others.
Silver, Gold or Platinum members of the Institute will have received relevant training from one of our accredited partners. However, anyone who can demonstrate experience in producing on-line content can join the Institute of Community Reporters as an Independent member.
How can I join?
If you have experience and can demonstrate that you are already able to produce your own content, you can join the Institute of Community Reporters as an Independent member. You will have to sign an agreement that says you understand and agree to our ethics, values and Editorial Guidelines – then we will create your account and you can begin sharing your content on this site. I would like to know more about becoming an Independent member.
If you want to be trained you can join one of our Silver or Gold programmes delivered by one of our accredited providers, who work with participants to give them the skills and confidence to become community reporters. A Silver badge requires you to learn one media area, e.g. photography, video or audio, whilst a Gold badge covers written word, photography, audio and video. You can then progress to become a Trained Trainer through our Platinum badge programme.
If you are an organisation, you can join the ICR by becoming a Social Licensee and replicating the programme in your area.
If you or your organisation are interested in the aims of the ICR and want to work with us in any other way, which could include support our research activities, be a project partner or exchange content and skills you can join as a Support partner.
What do Community Reporters receive?
All trained Community Reporters who are members of the Institute of Community Reporters will receive the following benefits:
- A user account on the communityreporter.net web site so your voice can be heard
- Training on storytelling and interviewing, and training on mobiles and tablets to produce audio,video and photographic stories
- An official Institute of Community Reporters badge
- Your story distributed on our Twitter and Facebook feeds
- The opportunity for your story to contribute to our “Featured Topic”
- Your story highlighted on the front page of the communityreporter.net web site
- The opportunity to join our local networks and meet up with other reporters
- Be eligible to join our Train the Trainer programme and become a Platinum member, who can then train others
- Be commissioned to undertake assignments and features
How can I connect with reporters to find out their views?
Organisations can use the ICR to gain insight into products and services, because our reporters offer a unique range and depth of response. Our reporters are varied in age, circumstances and background and are spread throughout the UK and Europe. Each reporter is linked to their own social networks, so can capture the voice of people beyond ICR members. Read more about our research approach and experience as well as examples of our work.