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ONA Curious City Presentation

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Chicago Public Media

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of ONA Curious City Presentation

Where the public has entered the
Curious City
process
A new actor:
The Advocate

Our audience has eclectic interests
What do you wonder about Curious City that you'd like us to answer?
PITCH
ASSIGN
Editor
REPORT
Reporter / Producer
PUBLISH
Reporter / Producer
Reporter / Editor / Producer
THE PUBLIC PROVIDES
COMMENTARY
PITCH
ASSIGN
REPORT
SHOW YOUR WORK ALONG THE WAY
MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTS
I feel very lucky to be a part of this story. I really appreciate all the work that you and your team went through to get answers. - Jaemey Bush
I can't believe the amount of production time and effort that goes into making stories! - Jim Brady

I also enjoyed watching you exercise your interviewing
skills and will admire WBEZ reporting in a whole new way.
- Linda Rudy
Where the
public
enters the typical editorial process
One size does not fit all
There's journalistic value in each
More / different questions asked
+
Levels of engagement

Participation
Points
50 +
WYCC
Engaging OUTSIDE of the station
Measuring engagement is hard
THE
CORE TEAM
Founder / Senior Producer
Editor
Multimedia Producer
Studs Terkel Fest
localore.net
(Comments online, calls on-air)
New workflows
Reflection
We offer levels of rewards
Transparency doesn't always
lead to action / engagement
“Your program is certainly something I have talked a lot about with friends and family.” - Andrew Wambach
Formats shape engagement
Why are you doing this?
What problem are you solving?
Is this actually useful?
Are you adding value?
Will this change behavior?
Is there an easier way?
What could you be doing instead?
How do you measure success?
Engaging INSIDE of the station
Using reporting by-products as social media trailers
We've found no perfect platform to engage our audience
(and have adjust platforms as we learned)
Platform segmentation
No one wants to go to
this party
Feedback Loops
We teach the audience what we want
They teach us what they want
Intervention is often necessary
Took time. A lot of time.
Where we do what
We build in time for it on a regular basis
Some questions and stories require specific engagement
(And can take a lot of time)
(quality vs quantity vs risk)
CURIOUS
CITY
DIGITAL
BROADCAST
Officially: web team
They bring their digital audiences with them
They bring their digital audiences with them
first
Testing processes
and hypotheses to get validated learning
Our audience likes
this material
Our favorite metric: hand-written cards
Many times I’ve asked myself “Why am I doing this? Isn’t electricity a tedious subject best left to experts?” Knowing that the staff at WBEZ’s Curious City cared what I did, that they valued citizen input as much as that of experts, kept me going.

The quest I began with WBEZ as a “curious citizen” one year ago has now culminated in the launch with C3 of Electric Community, a series of interactive community-based activities to engage Chicago residents in “greening” our electricity.

Who knew a radio program could have so much power?
TESTING ASSUMPTIONS
Will our audience / the public want to participate in journalism beyond the comments section or call-in segments?
Can they come up with better story ideas or ask better questions than we ("the pros") do?
Will showing our work as we report
enhance it?

And how can that alter our relationship to the audience?
Will inviting the public to *physically* accompany us on reporting improve our work / our relationship with our audience?
Can we get permission within a legacy broadcast institution to report stories in other formats?
(Not necessarily broadcast)
Will the stories resulting from this process
*actually* be of interest to our audience?
3.

2.
META LESSONS
New patterns
EVERGREEN QUESTIONS
We rely on our audience to do our jobs.
Directly serving an individual:
the surrogate for the audience
1.
3.
The Curious City process applied to multimedia
2.
How transparency can enrich and
strengthen our reporting
Serving one person
1.
This question is too basic.

- Chicago Fire Department

A curious citizen can become a key character in a story
Working with non- journalists
Individuals becoming characters *can* get complicated
Multimedia
Audience appreciates the opportunity / the craft of journalism in the process
Transparency
jbrandel@wbez.org
Using existing tools
IT'S HARD / IT'S REALLY FUN
Question-asker Poppy Coleman with Reporter Chris Bentley
Reporter Chris Bentley asking residents about the "red x" program
*Not* Dan. (Flickr/Get Directly Down)
Hearing the other side of the story leads to ...
... a change of mind.
Deep story, basic question
Audience-surrogate is on scene
A new dynamic between the public and sources / people in power.
"Why are you trying to be everything to everyone?"
Showing reporting in process
New entry points for participation, feedback
Be careful how much / what you ask of the public.
In the end, we found a good judge for the best donut.
Reporting stories in the way they're "best" told.
Custom tools to better include the public in our editorial process
Engage because you actually care
Building in more input:
Voting for a specific suburban story
PITCH
REPORT

REPORT
REPORT
REPORT
We're a multimedia team.
Lessons we're learning
REPORT
REPORT
REPORT
SHOW YOUR WORK ALONG THE WAY
REPORT
REPORT
&
PUBLISH
REPORT
REPORT
&
PUBLISH
REPORT
REPORT
&
PUBLISH
This process ...
@jnnbrndl
#curiouscity
@WBEZCuriousCity
@jnnbrndl
@shawnallee
@loganjaffe
#curiouscity @WBEZCuriousCity
@jnnbrndl @shawnallee @loganjaffe
Full transcript