Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Community engagement

The untapped potential of Facebook groups: An average post in the Boston Globe’s group for subscribers receives twice as many comments as post on the Globe’s main Facebook page

The Boston Globe’s Facebook page has nearly half a million likes — but it’s in the Globe’s Facebook group for subscribers where the newspaper is developing an engaged community. Though the subscriber group is just over a month old, an average post in the subscriber group brings in twice as many comments as a post […]

Dean Baquet: In newsrooms today, readers finally have more power than advertisers

In an interview with NYT public editor Liz Spayd, Dean Baquet explains why readers have more power than advertisers in newsrooms now. “The reader has far more power than ever before — and they should,” Baquet says. “I grew up in an era when the most powerful entity in the economics of journalism was advertising. […]

7 characteristics of effective accountability journalists

No matter what topics they cover, many journalists hold people and institutions responsible for their words and actions. This “accountability journalism,” whether it is political fact-checking, investigations or other forms of reporting, must still engage readers and impact audiences to be effective. All journalism, in the end, should strive to make the significant interesting. Through […]

Effective accountability journalists exhibit broad curiosity and eagerly adapt to new technologies and platforms

The high-impact accountability reporters we studied consider themselves — and are seen by others — as “early adopters.” Their high level of curiosity propels them to adapt to new platforms, audiences, technology and content with unusual willingness and a sense of necessity and practicality. “Mutate or die,” is how Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot News political writer […]

Effective accountability journalists think about multiple audiences

Within the expansive term “audience” are numerous diverse communities, and a point we heard repeatedly from these journalists is that they think about multiple audiences. Some of the audiences can be quite specific. Some reporting and writing is aimed at one particular audience, and sometimes it’s designed for more than one. Among those audiences or […]

Effective accountability journalists smartly balance their time on story choices, audience interaction

As reporters are being asked to juggle more tasks with fewer resources, high-impact journalists are skilled at managing their responsibilities through what one reporter called “the art of the calendar.” They run their days and devise their work methods in a way that’s anticipatory, efficient and flexible. They give unusual consideration to balancing the need […]

Effective accountability journalists build connections and teamwork within their own newsrooms

In addition to cultural competency with different communities, these highly effective reporters also manage the challenges of life inside stressed and stressful newsrooms. That navigation includes finding “tribes” of like-minded colleagues in all departments and helping to build bridges among those tribes; and when confronted with problems, finding constructive solutions rather than spending energy venting. […]

Effective accountability journalists find their own way and direct their own work

When discussing their work, these journalists did not talk a lot about “editors” or “assignments.” Rather we were struck by the degree to which they took their responsibilities and ran with them, charting their own way, directing their own work. They are a group that’s unlikely to wait for marching orders. “Independence” is a journalist’s […]

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