When Digital First Media announced a partnership to create Citizens’ Agenda, Angi Carter was excited. Carter, a community engagement editor at the NHR, didn’t want to wait to get a handle on what the local electorate was thinking. In order to find out, the NHR has a soft launch underway with an issues poll using a Google form and plans to augment stories with public forums, chats and debates with questions fielded from the public.

Six staffers formatted the poll, getting it in sync with Newsys and packaged the text with it for online and print presentations on Dec. 21 and Dec. 25. Middletown Press, The Register Citizen and Litchfield County Times also published it. The story was promoted on social media and during a live chat. The paper has launched Senate and House race Facebook pages and a blog. NHR has 147 responses and 38 people willing to participate in public forums.

Carter would encourage other publications to introduce the Citizens’ Agenda partnership and seek input from the voters on what issues are important. She also said to pay attention to social media presence around political coverage.

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