Digital transformation has given us many ways to turn passive news consumers into active contributors to journalism.
However, due to the culture of traditional newsroom operations, opportunities for user-assisted journalism are often overlooked. As a result, important issues, valuable viewpoints and compelling stories are left undiscovered.
So when Jay Rosen, who coined the term The People Formerly Known as the Audience, asked me to teach the first-semester reporting class of his Studio 20 program at NYU, we quickly agreed that it should focus on how to report with, rather than on, a community.
As opposed to anonymous audiences, measured by page views and clicks, communities can be defined by a common interest, such as where they live or a topic they care about. As their collective knowledge, personal stories and experiences can be incredibly valuable, they should be involved in the reporting process from the very beginning, before starting with a story even. …