Peggy Holman

  • Co-Founder & Director
  • Journalism That Matters

Peggy Holman supports diverse groups to tackle complex issues by turning presentation into conversation and passivity into participation. Holman is a co-founder of Journalism That Matters (JTM), a nonprofit that believes journalism matters most when it is of, by, and for the people. JTM supports and equips the adventurers who transform relationships between communities and journalism for a strong, inclusive democracy. JTM has been hosting conversations among journalists and their allies since 2001. It was pivotal in the emergence of engaged journalism. For example, the Gather community grew out of the Engagement conference series co-hosted with the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon.
With a background in software development, Holman found herself more challenged and nourished by working with human systems. She was drawn to systemic, high-participation practices that engage diverse people in finding constructive paths through conflict and complexity. Her organizational work led to her writing about practices for systems change that shift how people organize from hierarchies to networks. In The Change Handbook, 2nd edition, Holman & her co-authors profile 61 practices that engage people in creating their desired future. Her award-winning Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity offers stories, principles, and practices that provide a roadmap for tackling complex challenges.
Her work with journalists began in 1999 when a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles moved her to seek out journalists who wished to reimagine journalism to connect people to each other, their communities, and democracy. Working with three journalists steeped in civic journalism -- Cole Campbell, Chris Peck, and Stephen Silha -- she began her journey toward a vision of journalism that is inclusive, constructive, and engaged. Using the First
Amendment as a framework, today, she offers a vision of what’s possible based on trends already underway.