Our first 2017 Wrap-Up: Designing For Audience Behavior

First of all, THANK YOU!

We received some very strong submissions for this first installment of Version 5.0. There are some still waiting to see what we’re going to do next, (including my own later today). We’re looking forward to those who’ve already committed to submitting a piece next month.


This month’s prompt asked our participants to consider “Designing for audience behavior”.

Bryan Murley tackled each of the questions posed in our prompt in his submission. His most passionate portions focused on tackling “if and how” we should look to individual news organizations as a template.

A piece by our former benevolent #jcarn overlord, David Cohn reminds us how news organizations squandered a golden opportunity to build community in the mid-1990s. What would’ve happened if news organizations developed something like Twitter or Facebook? It’s something worth considering…

Michael Rosenblum asks us to consider what people are looking for when attempting to determine “For Whom Do We Report News?” He reminds us to consider the financial health of a news organization in the equation. He also reminds us we’re in an age where it is no longer “a veritable content desert”. Entertainment of the audience has become important for financial survival.

Donica Mensing touches on the financial significance of listening to an audience in her detailed list of six reasons. I was happy to see her include “the imperative to “build for needs, not audiences” in her assessment. It’s something I’m thinking of more and more as we think of the future of the delivery of news.

Ashley Books asks us to think about how we present the news. She wants us to look at how much work goes into making our audience search for the information they need. She suggests “once we start listening, we will find simple solutions” for how we “finally catch up with the modern reader.”

Aram Zucker-Schraff brought up methods and resources available to help us get how we present our work to our communities.

Carrie Brown says we need to get serious about understanding our audiences. She implores we cannot continue to allow for “a defensive retrenching back into attitudes and practices that privilege the journalist over the public we aim to serve.” I tend to agree.

A pretty nice collection for our return, indeed.

Here’s the list; we’ll add more as we learn of their existence. Remember, there’s always time to send us your submission.

If you’re interested in providing a prompt for the Carnival of Journalism to consider, drop us a line via email. We’ll contact you if you’re chosen ASAP so we can turn everyone loose again.

Thanks again for a great first episode!

Photo credit: Yellow Journalism. Kevin Harber/Flickr.

Welcome back to the Carnival of Journalism!

Yes, it’s true: The #jcarn is back!

For those of you new to the concept, here’s the simple version of what we do: Once a month we get together and write about the same topic directed by a different host each time. Visit the about and history pages for more specifics and to learn about how this came to be in the first place.

You can also skip down to this month’s topic by clicking here. It’s OK.

This version of the Carnival was inspired courtesy of its most recent long-time organizer/benevolent overlord, David Cohn, in response to a post about the future of a weekly Twitter chat about digital journalism, #wjchat.

Do you remember the Carnival of Journalism? Does anyone? I wonder if Wjchat could host Medium-esque Carnival of Journalisms?

I still miss having a topic to write about (not chat about), a deadline and reading what others have to say at the end of the month.

Consider this “Challenge accepted!”. It means we have a few more moving parts this time, too. In addition to this website, we’ll have a publication on Medium (currently a blank slate), and a Twitter account.

Later this evening, we’ll have a mailing list sign-up form available for you to use. There’s also the ever-reliable #jcarn Google Group.

There’s a caveat though as we relaunch this. I (André) am interested in revisiting David’s Hardly Strictly Young summit (a reason for this project’s relaunch in 2011) in some form in the coming year. It is still nebulous how this will help at this point, but I’m looking forward to sharing updates with you along the way.

Now, on to this month’s topic:

It’s courtesy of (and inspired by) a recent (albeit brief) exchange with a long-time #jcarn participant, Brian Boyer:

Designing for audience behavior…

Regardless of how we present our stories to our audiences — online, on-air, or in print — do we truly take them into consideration? Is the topic being reported on truly considered during the newsgathering process? Do we realize we can’t copy what other organizations do just because it’s already been “solved” for us? Can we look at internal reports like the NYT 2020 Report as a template or a bible for tackling how we interact with the communities we serve?

You can tackle any or all of these prompts or write about whatever comes to mind as you think about the phrase in boldface type.

When you’re ready (which should hopefully be before February 8), you’ll want to do one of the following things:

  • Tag us in a tweet (& use #jcarn so others can see it as well) when you publish the link via Twitter;
  • Submit the story for publication to the Carnival of Journalism on Medium if you choose that platform to share your piece;
  • Send us a message via the Google Group or via email with the URL.

When you’re finished, you’ll be able to say you’ve helped relaunch one of the most epic things ever. You’ll just want to celebrate…


Thanks in advance!