My specialties: Organizational strategic planning, content and media strategy, strategic communications, project management,training, network and organizational development, writing, and editing. I am quoted extensively in both the national and progressive media and make appearances on TV and radio from time to time.
The Vox Impact Project and Fellow/The Opportunity Agenda October 2013-Present
Engaged in a dynamic new research project studying the intersection of culture shifting, storytelling in the digital age and deeper opportunities to enhance community engagement to build the impact of the progressive organizing movement in the cultural sphere. Report to be released in 2014.
Providing strategic communications and organizational consulting for local and national organizations focused on gender, racial and economic justice.
Director, The New Bottom Line January 2011-August 2013
Responsible for the overall campaign, communications, and online strategies of The New Bottom Line, an alignment of local, state and national grassroots organizations focused on Wall Street accountability and building an economy that works for everyone. Have successfully advanced key messages to impact political and public debate on key economic issues, including leading the “Dump DeMarco” campaign. Communications work has resulted in thousands of press hits for New Bottom Line and our members around the key issues central to our work. Oversaw the narrative development, communications coordination, and online and social media planning for major national grassroots mobilizations such as the 2011 “Pay US Back” weeks of actions and the 2012 “99% Power” shareholder meetings. The Nation named New Bottom Line “the most valuable coalition of 2011.”
Director, The Media Consortium June 2007-January 2011
Responsible for overall strategic direction, project management, and fundraising for The Media Consortium (TMC), a network of over 45 of the country’s leading progressive, independent media outlets. The mission, “to amplify independent media’s voice, increase our collective clout, leverage our current audience and reach new ones.” Developed and launched TMC’s Incubation and Innovation Labs in 2010, a premier program to help TMC members evolve their editorial and business models for a 21st century media environment. Developed and managed editorial collaboration projects among multiple media organizations. Oversaw fundraising, development, and implementation of Live From Main Street, a 2008 special election program comprised of five cross-country town hall events featured on LinkTV and Free Speech TV, which reached 9 million viewers.
Publisher, In These Times Magazine, Chicago, IL July 2005-June 2007
Responsible for development of a new infrastructure, business development, staff management, strategic plan and public presence for a national publication focused on news, analysis, and politics. Raised overall profile of In These Times magazine in political and media landscape. Magazine was winner of the 2007 Utne Reader Independent Press Award for Best Political Coverage.
Associate Publisher, In These Times Magazine August, 2003 – July 2005
Communications Director, National People’s Action January 2001-August 2003
Responsible for editorial development, media strategy, and organizational development for organization dedicated to training and developing community organizations and their leadership. Implemented media strategy for national issue campaigns, managed three web sites. Provided technical assistance and conducted media trainings for grassroots organizations. Focused on issues including predatory lending, housing, immigration, and education
Reporter, Washington Bureau, Knight Ridder Newspapers, Washington, DC Fall 2000
Journalism fellowship through the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. Covered national politics during the 2000 presidential election including Bush v. Gore Supreme Court litigation and Bush acceptance of presidency in Austin, Texas Reported on national events and legislation, including the Million Family March and the Violence Against Women Act. Researched and wrote major feature on the White House’s 200th anniversary.
- Women, Action and the Media
- National, People's Action
- Free Speech TV
- Toolbox for Social, Education and Action
Bachelor of Arts, University of Iowa / May 2000
Double Major—Journalism and Mass Communications and Literature, Science and the Arts
Honors include Alan Barron Scholarship through Washington Center for Politics and Journalism in Fall 2000; Frank L. Mott investigative journalism scholarship award, Spring 2000; Honors Program; Dean’s List (1998-2000) Honor Roll (1996-1997)
I wrote a book!
Beyond The Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (February 2010, The New Press) Tracy Van Slyke/Jessica Clark
Check out the slideshow that details the four layers of online networks that accompanies the book.
I also co-authored and edited some reports on impact and media, including....
- “Investing in Impact: Media Summits Reveal Pressing Needs, Tools for Evaluating Public Interest Media” (May 2010)
- Commissioned, edited and published the highly influential report for The Media Consortium on the future of independent journalism, “The Big Thaw: Charting a New Course for Journalism” (October, 2009)
- Co-authored “Making Connections: Why is the news so bad? What can progressives do to fix it?” (In These Times, 2005) and “Welcome to the Media Revolution: How today’s media makers are shaping tomorrow’s news.” (In These Times, 2006)
I’ve won a couple awards and fellowships over the last few years as well...
- 2007-2009: Rockwood Leadership Training Programs-Participated in three dynamic weekend long leadership sessions devoted to training the next generation of leaders. Accepted into the highly competitive “Media Fellowship” program sponsored by Rockwood.
- 2009: Progressive Women’s Voices—Participated in the Women's Media Center's premier media and leadership training program serving women
- 2010: Named one of the top “30 Women Making History” by the Women’s Media Center
- 2010: Named one of the “40 Under 40,” by the New Leaders Council “who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship.”
What I do.
I am a leading expert in the intersection of movement building and media.
I work with social justice organizations to create and implement high-impact content and communications strategies that:
- Transform their big picture vision into the narrative they want to incorporate into all levels of their work.
- Match their long-term vision and campaign goals with content, communications, and community engagement strategy.
- Evolve their organizational DNA for a 21st century networked media environment.
- Evaluate and understand the impact of their work.
Tracy Van Slyke is a nationally recognized leader and expert working in the intersection of progressive organizing, strategic communications and independent media. She has led a groundbreaking coalition of grassroots organizing networks and organized campaigns that have directly impacted our country’s politics and policies. She is also a trailblazer in the field of independent media. She has been the publisher of a national award winning magazine, written extensively about the evolution of journalism and how to evaluate media impact, and led a national coalition of the country’s leading progressive, independent media.
Tracy Van Slyke is currently engaged in The Vox Impact Project — a research and incubation hub studying the intersection of culture shifting, storytelling in the digital age and deeper opportunities to enhance community engagement to build our impact. The Vox Impact Project is housed out of The Opportunity Agenda, where Van Slyke is a fellow. Through this project, she is working on a dynamic research project that outlines the strategic need for the progressive organizing sector to power up culture shifting, what are the key gaps we still face when integrating culture change into our work and the needed strategic and theoretical shifts we need to make to have a true impact on culture and the long-term fight to win social, gender and racial justice. She is also providing strategic communications consulting to organizations who are looking to build the impact of their narrative on the cultural and political conversations.
Previously, Van Slyke was the director of The New Bottom Line—an alignment of the leading grassroots organizations in the country working together to build a new economy that works for everyone. There she led work to advance critical narratives about our economy through multi-platform communications, online organizing and popular education strategies and organized successful national campaigns focused on rebuilding our economy and the housing market, including the successful “Dump DeMarco” campaign.
Van Slyke is the former director of The Media Consortium, a network of the leading progressive, independent media outlets in the country. During her tenure at The Media Consortium, she developed and implemented cutting edge programs to foster collaborations among media organizations, support innovation in new editorial and business models, and build the impact of the progressive media on the public debate. She organized programs ranging from the Innovation and Incubation Labs that focused on how journalism organizations could experiment and test new business, content and technology models. She also developed successful editorial collaborations among multiple media organizations on topics ranging from media policy to corporate money in our elections. There she also commissioned and co-edited the pioneering report, The Big Thaw: Charting a New Future for Journalism.
She is the co-author of the book, Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (January 2010, The New Press) and has produced numerous other articles, blogs and reports on the future of journalism and progressive media. She is also the former publisher of the national award-winning magazine, In These Times. She started her work in organizing and progressive communications as the communications director for National People’s Action. She was trained as a journalist and won a prestigious fellowship through the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism and received her BA from the University of Iowa.