Futures Lab Update #121: Helping Readers Take Action, and a Tool for Correcting Style Errors

    by Reuben Stern
    September 11, 2015
    The proofreading tool Lingofy looks at the context surrounding words to help determine its correct use. Screenshot courtesy of RJI.

    This week we see how the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism is helping its audience act on the issues they read about, and we learn how an automated filter helps find and correct style errors.

    "If we're talking solutions, you know, we don't have to be out there building houses and fighting crime. But I think it's almost silly at this juncture, to write these articles and then walk away." -- Chris Faraone, founder, Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism

    PART 1: BINJ action boxes

    As part of its solutions journalism approach, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism created an Action Box to provide information that readers can use to get involved in issues the stories investigate. Founder Chris Faraone tells us how the engagement prompt fits into the startup’s overall strategy.
    Reporting by Katy Mersmann.


    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    BINJ operates “on a shoestring budget,” according this profile by Nieman Lab, and has experimented with a pop-up newsroom at a community event where “Faraone set up a desk, typewriters, and notepads to hear what community members had to say.”


    BINJ is also using crowdsourcing via social media to inventory automatic surveillance in Boston.

    PART 2: Lingofy

    Lingofy is a proofreading tool from Tansa Systems that allows newsrooms to check stories against various style guides including the AP Stylebook and customized styles unique to individual newsrooms. We find out how it works from Tansa Systems USA Managing Director Christopher Grimm.
    Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    Additional details about the AP stylebook option for Lingofy, including pricing plans, can be found on the AP Stylebook website.

    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 appto watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: binj boston institute for nonprofit journalism community media futures lab investigative journalism Lingofy plain language proofreading rji rji futures lab solutions journalism

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