Digital Journal, a global digital media network with contributors in 200 countries, held online story meetings throughout July. The live-chat discussions invited reporters, citizen journalists, bloggers and average news consumers into the editorial process to help shape the coverage produced by Digital Journal. Participants were invited to provide input on the type of content of interest to them.
“In an age where people go online to find content appealing to their tastes, it’s important for news organizations to adapt and ensure their editorial process aligns with reader interests,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “By opening up our story meetings to the public, we provided a platform for people everywhere to tell us what they care about. We received a lot of great feedback that will allow us to target geographies and stories we know people care about.”
During the Global Editorial Meetings, participants interacted with Digital Journal editors to express their thoughts on stories and topics they believe were under-reported in the media; emerging trends and topics that needed more media attention; and geographies and local stories missed by the press. Readers chatted live and responded to polls and questions, and that feedback was used to assign stories to thousands of contributors via Digital Journal’s content assignment technology.
Several participants said they enjoy reading and contributing to Digital Journal because of the variety of content.
“I like Digital Journal because it gives me a mix of everything,” said Denise, a reader based in the UK. “I enjoy visiting a news site that offers me news I want to read from my location but also something else.”
Kim was also fond of Digital Journal’s diverse editorial mix. “I like a variety of hard-hitting news and politics as well as the odd news and light-hearted stuff, the same mix as Digital Journal provides,” she said.
Participants were very happy to have the opportunity to participate in a discussion about what is newsworthy and what stories they felt were not being covered by international press. Participants were also happy to have an opportunity to speak directly with Digital Journal staff members.
Pulling back the curtain and offering the public a chance to take part in the news-gathering process has earned Digital Journal kudos and praise from people all over the world.
"Thank you [Digital Journal] for great moderation, openness, and opportunity for feedback," said Sam Halaby.
"Thanks for asking us what we think," wrote Darren W. "Don't see that often in the media."
Full transcripts from Digital Journal’s Global Editorial Meetings are available on request.
Digital Journal has also published an editorial summary to provide media organizations with an overview of the type of content average readers enjoy consuming, as well as input on how to improve online news coverage. The summary can be found here.