Why Community Engagement Matters More Than Ever

Rob Curley
Spokesman Review

Dating back to the early days of the internet, Spokesman-Review editor Rob Curley has long been considered one of the newspaper industry’s top innovators. From having worked at large news media companies, including The Washington Post and Orange County Register, to working at much smaller papers in his beloved home state of Kansas, like the Lawrence Journal-World, Ottawa Herald and Topeka Capital-Journal, it’s his love of local journalism that drives him.

As a result of the award-winning news websites he has built, Curley has been featured on the cover of national magazines and even an Apple commercial. Creativity Magazine named him one of the 50 Most Creative People in the World, and he’s one of the only newspaper editors in the world to give “Tech Talks” to Google’s programmers on the web giant’s main campus in Silicon Valley.

Curley is a highly sought-after speaker at both journalism and civic conferences across the country because of the Spokesman Review’s ground-breaking events series, Northwest Passages. Often drawing crowds of more than 700 people, these events have made the Spokesman Review a national leader in community engagement, local media literacy and philanthropic-funded journalism. Nearly 28 percent of the newspaper’s newsroom payroll is now funded directly by the community.

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Rob Curley (The Spokesman-Review)
Spokesman-Review editor Rob Curley explains how Spokane’s oldest and largest news source embraced the concept of “the virtuous circle” – showing how a community grows in innumerable ways when it works Given today’s highly politicized climate and the effects of once-in-a century pandemic, the need to show we’re more alike than different has never been more important. The engaging, fast-moving presentation is filled with lots of laughs that turn into moments of inspiration and practical solutions to complex problems. With his homespun speaking style, Curley makes a powerful case that in today’s overly polarized world, simply being nice is often the overlooked difference between success and failure.
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