Futures Lab update #84: Engagement Using Text Messages, and Corrections via Social Media

    by Reuben Stern
    November 20, 2014
    The Groundsource platform allows organizations to set up a phone number in their community that people can text or call into, and helps them to crowdsource information from these sources. (Screenshot courtesy of RJI Futures Lab)

    This week we learn about a platform for engaging with audiences via text messages, and we explore how to handle corrections to social media posts.

    "One of the things that I tell journalists is that you want to match the distribution channels of the correction to the same distribution channels that you use to kind of promote the article itself." - Craig Silverman, founder, Regret the Error

    PART 1: Groundsource

    A new platform called Groundsource seeks to help newsrooms interact with their communities outside the confines of smartphones and social media, instead relying on more basic text messaging. Founder Andrew Haeg says the system makes engagement more natural and, therefore, more open.
    Reporting by Katy Mersmann, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    For more information:

    According to Haeg, “Journalism, at its best, is as much about listening as it is about publishing or broadcasting.” As he also explains in this piece on Medium, Groundsource is designed to support a model of journalism that “would combine anonymity with accountability, and a focus on communicating with trusted institutions with the capacity for understanding and addressing people’s real needs.” The result would be “a new kind of journalism that is not only sustainable, but also addictively engaging and perfectly suited for mobile and digital success.”

    Earlier in his career, Haeg was a creator of the Public Insight Network, which uses Web forms and email to tap the collective expertise of individual audience members and better inform news coverage.


    PART 2: Social media corrections

    With consumers getting news via multiple platforms including social media, correcting the record when a mistake gets out has become more complex. We explore some ways to address the problem.
    Reporting by Tatiana Darie.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode. 

    Tagged: accountability apps community engagement corrections crowdsource rji rji futures lab

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