Live In Dove Springs? Join Decibel’s New Sounding Board!

By Blair Waltman-Alexin | Monday, May 29th 2023

Do you live in Dove Springs? Or do you work there? Are you connected to the community? Then the Decibel team wants to hear from you.

On May 24, the Austin PBS Community Advisory Board picked Dove Springs as Decibel’s next reporting area. But we’re doing two things differently this time: first, we’re focusing on stories about housing. Secondly, we’re creating a small advisory group made up of seven to 10 residents. Its name? The Sounding Board.

This group will be instrumental to our reporting in Dove Springs. Volunteers will meet with the Decibel team and provide insight on their community, connect us with their neighbors, and review our content. This feedback will guide our reporting and help us better understand if we’re covering the community accurately.

So why are we creating this now? Community feedback has always been integral to Decibel’s mission, but we’ve struggled with comments, both in person and virtual. Getting consistent responses from residents who know about us and our mission has been challenging. This time we’re hoping to experiment with a new approach–blending in feedback from a group of dedicated volunteers who are part of the community we’re planning to cover.

The demands on the volunteers' time will be small, but the impact on our work will be huge. Sounding Board members will be asked to join us for at least two of three in-person meetings that will take place over the course of the project. They’ll also be asked to review our stories via a short survey that will be emailed to them when new content is posted. Sounding Board members will also help connect us with residents and suggest possible interviewees for us to profile. While the Decibel team will maintain final editorial control on stories, the Sounding Board will be an important part of our next reporting project. Applications are open now, and we hope to have a team in place by late July.

But we still want broad community feedback on our reporting in Dove Springs. The Decibel team plans to meet with residents, both in person and virtually, through the project. While not required for Sounding Board members, we’re hoping to have them join us and help connect us with their friends and neighbors.

This new reporting project brings a lot of changes to the Decibel playbook. We’re experimenting with some different ideas this time around. But one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to accurately representing the community we’re reporting on. And we’ll always keep striving to do that better than ever.

Interested in joining the Sounding Board? Fill out this application! Have any other questions? Email us at

Community journalism doesn’t happen without community support.

Got story ideas, advice on how we can improve our reporting or just want to know more about what we do? Reach out to us at

And if you value this type of reporting, then please consider making a donation to Austin PBS. Your gift makes the quality journalism done by the Decibel team possible. Thank you for your contribution.

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