Meet media who do it

It’s happening all around

During the last three years, it has become more and more easy to find examples of good dialogue-based journalism to showcase in class. Simply because more and more media are doing it and are getting more experienced with it – or at least so it seems. Some are all in and seem on a quest to re-invent the relationship between newsroom and audience, while others have simply expanded their everyday tool box when it comes  idea development, research, production or distribution. Below is a list of some of the frontrunner media in this field that we look into for inspiration and good examples.

Frontrunner media


What do you want our journalists to investigate? Can you help the journalist researching a story? Do you want to talk to the main source after a story has been published?
These are questions that the Danish digital media Zetland asks its audience. When you sign up with Zetland you do not become a subscriber. You become a member. As a member you are invited to get involved in the editorial process. According to the media it enables their journalists to produce better journalism. Having hundreds of members with a certain knowledge or experience gives the journalists access to research and data that they would not have been able to get otherwise. Zetland also asks members for input on which questions it should investigate, to get involved in open editorial meetings and to become editors by inviting selected members inside the journalists´ google document to comment before publishing. As many media Zetland has a commentary track. However, it is named the contribution track, underlining the way Zetland regards its members, and the producing journalist is always present in the contribution track.

As a member you are invited to meet a main source of a story in a Zoom-meeting following the publication of a story.


DR is the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, which offers both national and regional public service news and media productions across all platforms. DR Ung or DR P3 is the youth branch, which also operates across all platforms from TV and Radio, to web, Youtube and other social media platforms. Especially their use of Instagram for engagement is worth noticing in relation to this project. When they cover a topic, they use Instagram stories and the highlight function to ask the audience/followers for personal experiences with the same topic. The topics are often related to identity, they get a lot of answers, which they can highlight. In this example the question is: “What have been defining for the person you are today?”, and all the answers lead up to a link to the journalistic production about a girl, who has lived in 14 different places before turning 19.


In the city of The Hague and its surroundings Omroep West operates. In the rubric ‘Right Questions’ the regional public broadcaster asks its audience to come up with questions for their journalists to investigate. Subsequently, the journalist works together with the questioner when looking for answers to the question. Earlier, Omroep West worked with an online open editorial room, using Facebook Live. However, editor-in-chief Henk Ruijl says, this method had its downside. Somehow, the FB algorithm wouldn’t cooperate in reaching the audience. And partly because they went live at the same time every week, after after a while only the usual suspects turned up. On the upside, the open newsroom forced the journalists to be transparent about their story ideas, and it allowed the audience to come up with suggestions that the journalists would never have thought of.


omroep west

The regional tv station TV2 Østjylland has transformed itself from a tv-station to a mediahouse and see Social Media as an important infrastructure to come closer to its users.

This approach is also reflected in some of the station´s news criteria: relevance and conversation-starter. The station takes pride in involving people in the journalism and the journalists are trained to be professional SoMe hosts.

The station regards the comment section as a very important part of the public debate and the SoMe host seeks to qualify the debate by acting as a good host at a dinner party. The SoMe host initiates, facilitates and moderates conversations and invites the users to co-create. In this role the journalists build relations by acting as ordinary persons, not only as professional journalists.

Very often the comment sections are just as interesting and informative as the journalistic products.

How does electric companies know when the price for power is cheapest? Is it possible to put some noise absorbing stuff in the asphalt?

The regional tv-station, TV2 Lorry, engages its audience by inviting the viewers to ask questions they want the journalists to find  answers to. Other viewers can vote for the best question and every week the station publishes a story that provides an answer. Sometimes the person who asked the question will be interviewed afterwards. The idea is to get in touch with what people find interesting.

Recently TV2 Lorry has expanded with this concept: Do you know the solution? The station writes an article about a problem and asks the audience for solutions.

Both initiatives are aligned with the station´s news criteria: Hope, nuances, honesty and individuality.

The German medium Correctiv sees itself as a research network in the service of society. Correctiv’s mission is: “With journalism we want to enlighten, involve readers and sustainably strengthen civil society through media competence.” 
Primarily known for investigative journalism, the team implemented some exemplary dialogue projects. For example, the research “Who owns Hamburg?”: The editorial team, in cooperation with the Hamburger Abendblatt, a local medium, called on the citizens of Hamburg to conduct a joint open research. The aim: to find out who owns most of the properties in the metropolis and thus make the housing market more transparent. More than 1000 tenants uploaded evidence about the owner of their flat on a platform that the team developed especially for the research – the Crowd Newsroom. The topic aroused emotions in many stakeholders. The editorial team therefore had to take extra measures to avoid getting caught between the fronts. It writes on its website: “In order to conduct an open debate with as many perspectives as possible, we rented a room for two months in the Kölibri district centre on St. Pauli. Two reporters worked there, visible from the street, at a long table. The door was always open. We regularly invited people to events where we discussed with citizens, investors and politicians.”

More information:


The Dutch local broadcaster 1Twente works with a self-developed method that has been labeled ‘serial investigative journalism’ by the Dutch Association of Investigative Journalists. It starts with moving into a neighbourhood with a mobile station, and inviting the residents to tell about the issues that keep them occupied. 1Twente also works with questionnaires. Twice a year, the station decides on a major theme to dive into. For example the flooding of basements. And then they start with massive reporting, bringing dozens of interviews and stories on the topic. In this way, the station tries to make impact, urging the city council and community leaders to take action to tackle the problem.



enorm Magazin sees itself as a magazine for social change. In addition to the daily maintained platform, six issues are published annually, which are also available as e-paper in the enorm app. Since the founding of the constructive social and economic magazine in 2010, enorm has been dedicated to social innovations, social entrepreneurs and the ongoing socio-economic analysis of sustainable issues and their global development. A special focus is on the climate crisis and social inequalities. enorm regularly surveys its own growing community on topics, the quality of its own reporting and satisfaction with the brand.

More information:

“If the tram breaks down, is any alternative transport available?”

This question was asked by a citizen in the Danish city Odense a month before the official opening of a new tram line. The event was a debate hosted by the regional TV-station TV2Fyn. In continuation of the debate the station invited its viewers on a guided tour to see the new tram before it was running in the streets. The debates are livestreamed on Facebook and viewers not psychically present can also ask questions as everyone is invited to send in questions in advance. Participation is always free as the station regards it a part of its journalism and public service.

Every Thursday the TV-station arranges debates like this. For the past years TV2 Fyn has actively worked with constructive journalism and user-involvement. In 2019 the station hired its first so-called constructive editor and launched an ambition that it wanted to become the most constructive media in Denmark.

TV2 Fyn is a regional television station under the umbrella of the national TV2. 


RUMS is an innovative media company from Münster (Germany) that aims to make local journalism more attractive. The small team does local journalism via newsletters that subscribers receive in their inboxes. The newsletter is called Letter and is structured in exactly that way – with a personal greeting at the beginning, followed by a long background article about what’s going on in Münster (in terms of where things are not working so well in the areas of politics, economics, culture and ecology, and how things can be improved), which invites people to read and respond. They use the channel newsletters to reach people where they hang out anyway: in their mailbox. In addition, the newsletter allows you to embed links to related articles from other media that readers can quickly click on. The special feature is that RUMS also links to competitor media in the newsletters, which also does local journalism for RUMS and evaluate them. In this way, they want to serve the readers’ need to be fully informed. In addition to a high interaction rate in newsletters, RUMS is notable for this project in that they offer local events and editorial meetings. Also, their office is located in the middle of the city and people are invited to stop by and engage in dialogue with the editorial team. Finally, readers can reply to the newsletters and contribute their opinion/knowledge with just one click. Several times a week RUMS sends out a long newsletter on a focus topic and several reader reactions, plus an opinion piece every Sunday.

More information: https://www.rums.mst


Funk is the content network of the public service broadcasters in Germany. Its Instagram channel is aimed at 14 to 29-year-olds and supposed to convey the public broadcasters’ news offerings to a young target group; namely, where this age group is on the move in the social networks. Funk was founded to reach the young target group on Instagram with journalistic content that otherwise occurs where they are not present (e.g., on linear television). Political questions, but also social topics and even memes are answered in the form of infographics in two to three slides. In doing so, the topics are brought to the point without losing complexity. After consumption, users should be able to participate in political and social life. Users for their part, are encouraged to submit feedback and questions they would like answered. An important part is also the discussion in the comments, which are moderated by the team. the posting frequency is very high. Every day there are several interactions with the users in the feed and in the story. Polls and direct messages are responded to openly and swiftly.

More information: describes itself as the innovation lab for new journalism. The founders Astrid Csuraji and Jakob Vicari with their team provide a tool called 100eyes. It enables newsrooms to easily communicate with their audience via direct/private chats in common messenger services. The goal is to achieve a low-threshold, safe and private communication offer to understand the audience and to be in contact with people consistently, over a long period of time. promises to editorial offices that „with the knowledge of your community, you can develop new content, new formats or new products, depending on what your users need.” Projects with 100eyes were realized with for example Radio Potsdam and Lüneburger Zeitung (both Germany).

More information:


The Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant asks what their readers want to know. Subscribers of the paper are invited to join the Open Newsroom. In this way, de Volkskrant is able to operate a continuous user panel that helps creating stories and investigating topics whether on current issues or with completely new story ideas. About twice a month, the paper sends the members of the panel a questionnaire by e-mail in which they are being asked what stories they would like to read on a certain subject, what themes they are missing and what story suggestions they may have. A couple of times per year, the users are offered the chance to participate in an investigative project.


de volkskrant

Perspective Daily is a well-known constructive German online medium. Every day, paying subscribers receive an article that aims to contextualize issues. The medium describes itself as a “compass through the daily flood of information” and says that their crowdfunding campaign in early 2016 brought constructive journalism into the conversation in the German-speaking world. In addition to solution-oriented contemplation, the exchange between experts and readers is particularly important to the editorial team in order to convey and pass on knowledge. In addition, Perspective Daily aims to create a community by bringing together interested and active people, who thus form a new collective. With a membership, one can participate in constructive discussions with diverse personalities and, as the name suggests, gain new perspectives. The editors’ view: “the greater the differences, the more valuable the conversations.”

More information:

Aarhus Stiftstidende is a regional newspaper that successfully has established and worked with niche Facebook sites. The newspaper has initiated niche sites about urban development, the local soccer team, second division handball and food. With the niche sites the newspaper has reached new users and thus discovered new discourses on well-known topics.

The users often have solid knowledge on the niche topics, and their knowledge and insight qualify the comment-sections with nuances. Furthermore, the reporters often get ideas for new angles and new perspectives on stories from the niche sites.


Pointer is the multimedia investigative platform of one of the public broadcasters in the Netherlands. Its motto: ‘Together with you Pointer brings dishonest business to light on the basis of investigative journalism.’ In various ways, Pointer invites the audience to participate. People can subscribe to a newsletter that informs them on upcoming stories to which they can contribute or already have done, but they can also offer their leads to a tipline. On social media and the website, requests and calls are being placed. By these multiple ways of crowdsourcing, Pointer is able to make a weekly television programme with spin-offs on radio and online. Extras are projects with the audience involving data journalism and open source intelligence.