Futures Lab update 84: Engagement using text messages, and corrections via social media

This week we learn about a platform for engaging with audiences via text messages, and we explore how to handle corrections to social media posts.

PART 1: Groundsource

A new platform called Groundsource seeks to help newsrooms interact with their communities outside the confines of smartphones and social media, instead relying on more basic text messaging. Founder Andrew Haeg says the system makes engagement more natural and, therefore, more open.

Reporting by Katy Mersmann, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.

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According to Haeg, “Journalism, at its best, is as much about listening as it is about publishing or broadcasting.” As he also explains in this piece on Medium, Groundsource is designed to support a model of journalism that “would combine anonymity with accountability, and a focus on communicating with trusted institutions with the capacity for understanding and addressing people’s real needs.” The result would be “a new kind of journalism that is not only sustainable, but also addictively engaging and perfectly suited for mobile and digital success.”

Earlier in his career, Haeg was a creator of the Public Insight Network, which uses Web forms and email to tap the collective expertise of individual audience members and better inform news coverage.

PART 2: Social media corrections

With consumers getting news via multiple platforms including social media, correcting the record when a mistake gets out has become more complex. We explore some ways to address the problem.

Reporting by Tatiana Darie.

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