Today's trust tip: Ask for feedback reguarly
Hi there. Lynn here.
Are you inviting feedback from your users? We've talked about directly asking your audience what they think about your news coverage through a survey or a post on social media (more on that here). But instead of just asking for feedback sporadically, try working the ask into daily stories.
Doing that will help you better understand what your audience thinks of you, what they do not understand and what you may be missing in your coverage. By touching base with them more often you can anticipate their response to your coverage and react accordingly. It also reminds them that you really do want to hear from them.
Because WCPO they anticipated pushback on a long-term investigative story about police officers. So, they decided to publish a story explaining why they were holding law enforcement accountable. The news team said the explainer story helped keep user comments focused on their reporting and what they uncovered instead of the anti-cop rhetoric they were anticipating.
One way to work feedback requests into stories more regularly is by simply asking if people have questions about the story. WITF did that by adding this language to stories: “Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Send an email to...”
The Gazette did something similar but posed the question in a shaded box inside the story about a local festival. The box read, "What questions do you have about the newbo evolve festival? We work hard every day to dig into local stories. If you have questions, ideas, or people The Gazette should be talking to for future stories, let us know." By asking for feedback and asking their users a simple question, the newsroom received a handful of story ideas to pursue.
TRY THIS: If you are producing a complicated story, add an editor's note or shaded box to the web story that asks, "What would you still like to know about this story? Did we miss something? Let us know here." You could add similar language to a post on social media too. If you do a follow-up story, be sure to highlight that the story was produced based on user feedback.
— Lynn Walsh, Trusting News assistant director
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