Teaching the tools and methods

When thinking about engagement and involvement, many journalists will probably picture reactions AFTER publication. How do we get people to share, react to, and comment on our journalism.

But that is only one part of the picture when talking dialogue-based journalism. The audience is a huge ressource that can provide valuable input in all phases of the journalistic process. From idea, research and angle to production and distribution.

When the people that journalism is produced for and about, are given a bigger role of participation, journalists need different tools and methods. Most of these tools are neither new and nor ground-breaking, but using them in this context may take a bit of twisting, a new purpose, a different timing or a more structured approach.

On this site we have tried to make a list of some of the most important methods and tools that we are providing – and that we know that frontrunner news outlets use in their work in this field. Some go all in and have built entire business models around involving the audience, while others simply just apply some of these working methods into everyday habits. Let the list and he rest of this guide  serve as inspiration, not as an attempt to make a complete list.

List of tools and methods

logo zetland

Ask for ideas

Ask people, what they want to know or what questions and curiosities they have. It can be on a specific topic or in general.

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logo pointer

Crowdsource the research

Asking the audience to participate in the research on a topic or a specific story. The audience can provide personal experiences, they can help observe and…

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Citizen reporters

Teaching people from the community to be journalists, and be there as a journalistic backing group, where you help them with ethics, critical questions, research and…

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logo omroep west

Open editorial meetings

Open editorial meetings are when media open up the editorial process and invite the audience to have a say in how the media should cover a…

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Input panel

A panel of a representative part of your audience or target group, which you can involve in various ways in your journalistic process. You can send…

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logo zetland

Member editors

Let a group from the audience see the journalistic production before publishing to give feedback on how they understand it, and if they are left with…

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Serial Investigative Journalism

Investigating a community on societal issues and follow these over an extended period of time. Organising meet-ups and handing out questionnaires, to bring in a continuous…

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blank field

Target audience research

Next to the more informal ways of being in dialogue with citizens, from time to time it is worthwhile to research the target audience in a…

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Facilitate communities

Instead of focussing on the audience as one big group in one big conversation, allow the audience to gather in smaller communities based on interests or…

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Backing band

A group of members who follow your editorial process with whom you can discuss how to move forward. They can be a large panel of members…

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tactile.news provides a tool that enables newsrooms to easily communicate with their audience via direct/private chats in common messenger services.

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Engaging on Instagram

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…

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Engaging via Newsletter

RUMS does local journalism via newsletters that subscribers receive in their inboxes. The newsletter is called Letter and is structured in exactly the same way -…

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Examples of student productions