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Inform and Reward: Build Online Communities that Last

About This Course

Building community around news alone is a tough sell — the average person doesn't regularly witness breaking news or care about every topic that makes headlines.

So how do news organizations foster loyal and engaged audiences?

People tend to move toward experiences that reward and inform them, and the best news-oriented online communities do just that.

This Webinar will dive into a case study of WBEZ’s Curious City, a newsgathering experiment that depends on audience engagement for its very existence.

Jennifer Brandel, who founded Curious City and is co-founder and CEO of Hearken, will share her top lessons from building online communities and creating crowdsourced projects. Along the way, we'll explore other projects and lessons from newsrooms that are having fun and making delightful content with their audiences.

What Will I Learn:

  • How to create journalism that will inform and reward readers
  • Why fun is important for audiences and reporters
  • Tips for how to make room for your audience and for fun in your stories
  • Inspiring ideas from great projects from around the industry
  • How to not only get ideas from your audience but also involve them in the ongoing creation process

Who Should Take this Course:

Editors, reporters, producers, social media folks and anyone who's interested in pushing boundaries, fostering collaboration and being surprised.

Jennifer Brandel

Jennifer Brandel

Jennifer Brandel

Jennifer Brandel has been experimenting with journalism since the early aughts. She founded the popular WBEZ's Curious City series in 2011 and is taking lessons pioneered on that project to other media organizations via her new tech platform called Hearken. The bulk of her reporting experience has been for public media, having reported pieces for WBEZ, NPR, APM, PRI, and playing characters on the CBC's WireTap and Radiotopia's Love + Radio.Prior to radio, Jennifer started a women’s workout called Dance Dance Party Party, managed the Third Coast International Audio Festival Conference, and worked a variety of odd jobs. Her multimedia work has been published in The New York Times and Vice.