The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Reader Directed

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We generally treat the story-searching process like panning for gold, waiting for the few “golden” stories to come through the wave of useless information. But, reporters, editors, and publishers don’t always know what the community cares about.

Simple answer, we need to ask. 

Usually we asked by shooting the breeze. But very rarely do reporters field story ideas with anyone but the editor. While new technology should stop us from doing that, it does let us do it more thoroughly, through a practice called crowdsourcing.

When a paper opens up it’s story budget, that is, the loose idea of what’s going to press tomorrow, to readers, the publication gives it’s audience a greater measure of control. It lets the audience ask reporters to write about something that matters to them.

After all, isn’t that our job?

Feeding story ideas out through social media streams marks one way of going about this, we can also ask readers what they want covered on any given day. It keeps the paper in touch, and in line, with what the audience wants to know.


Written by Steven A. Fletcher

March 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

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