The relationship between the newsrooms and the public should be much consistent, close, and open. On the one hand, the newsrooms must learn to listen more and better to what the public is asking for. On the other hand, the public should be more engaged in a new virtual community. Both newsrooms and the public need to interact with each other and learn to pose relevant questions to one another. The Hearken project promotes this inter-dialogue, as well as the concrete and the active listening to the public. Hearken offers a new and dynamic type of inter-community-centered connection between the public and the newsrooms. It unites them in a virtuous cycle of story-sharing and storytelling which makes them both more responsible and active in reporting relevant news. In Hearken project’s view, both audience and newsrooms need to be open and receptive to one another.
This of course will create clever coworking and reporting, based on stories that are important to both players. This allows the creation of a community, an ecosystem of exchange of thoughts, sensations, opinions, and above all, questions, and stories that could also lead to important social changes as well as strengthen the important tie between public and information. The virtue of a democratized ecosystem also allows to break down cultural barriers and grants greater value for stories that are “co-created” between the public and newsrooms. The model does not work if there is a lack of communication between the public and the newsrooms. There should be entrenched and direct communication between these two actors, sincere dialogue, and a positive cycle of exchange.
Furthermore, the process does not work if the newsrooms are stuck in a different mediatic era. They should be close to people’s information needs or potential lack of information on a subject. The news-sharing and story-creating activity between newsrooms and the public is based on active question-making. Particularly, Hearken intends to revitalize the process of exchange between these two actors. Secondly, the creation of a community between the public and the editorial staff also gives a sense of democratization in framing the news, so that everyone can communicate and report a story relevant to the public. Third, the collaboration between newsrooms and the public is useful for strengthening the link between the mediatic world and public opinion.
(Published on Prague Media Point)