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As media organizations confront an uncertain future unleashed by disruptive technologies, they are searching for ways to successfully navigate the changing information landscape. This paper argues that one way out of the present crises is for media to embrace a culture of innovation and use engaging communication technologies that are mutually beneficial to the media and to the communities they serve. The paper maps trends in media innovations and then reports on a unique innovation project that designed a new digital tool to help media re- engage their communities in new ways. The success of the project suggests that innovative tools and services that are specifically geared towards community engagement can provide a lifeline for media in crises as well as transform community news, information distribution and visualization, and impact community conversations, making new media technology a valued ally to media organizations and communities rather than a disruptive threat