News organizations: Think like your readers

I have new duty to add to journalists’ jobs: Imagine how readers will use the information news organizations disseminate.

In the past, it was enough to gather the information, accurately explain it, and make some sort of sense of the news for readers. Now, journalists need to imagine what is is like to be the consumer of that information — and to use that knowledge to better craft the messages, regardless of what format (text, video, photo, audio, social media) they employ.

An example illustrates my point. Recently, my family and I were driving back from a New Year’s trip to New Orleans. We were about half-way through the 20-hour drive, when we hit the snow-and-ice covered roadways of Interstate 81 in southern Virginia. We were going along at a decent clip, when suddenly traffic stopped.

Read the rest of the post at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab.

– Gina

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