Think of any journalism movie you’ve ever watched. There’s always that scene where a group of grizzled (usually white) male editors sit around a big table and decide what their readers NEED to know.
While that scene may still be playing out in some newsrooms, it’s quickly going the way of the dinosaur. Editors understand audiences have endless options when it comes to getting information, and know that readers decide for themselves what’s important or not.
So while we still gather around a table to discuss our reporting plans (lots more women, lots more people of color), we try to spend more time listening to you.
For the last two years, journalists at KPCC and LAist have invited community members to share the questions that keep them up at night — from homelessness and healthcare to education and voting. Based on what you’ve asked, we’ve produced award-winning stories and live events.
This month, we’re taking it to the next level: introducing mission statements for each of our reporters. Managing editor Megan Garvey wrote about it here. These mission statements will appear at the bottom of each story, along with an invitation to ask your questions to the reporter about his or her coverage area.
Our goal is to narrow the gap between our newsroom and the communities we serve, and to find stories that matter to people. We can’t report for Southern Californians if we’re not reporting with Southern Californians.
Here’s an example from higher education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.
We read every question that comes our way, and we’re committed to producing stories based on your curiosity and information needs. No question is too big, too small, too weird or too in the weeds. See all the questions we’ve answered here.
There are other ways you can be part of our reporting, too.
Our journalists have plenty of questions for you, too, and you can see them at kpcc.org/network. In recent weeks, your responses have informed stories on ride sharing, growing older in California, and the healthcare system. You’ve also given shape to the KPCC In Person storytelling series Unheard LA. Prefer text messages? You can stay in touch that way, too, by texting KPCC to 626–314–6135.
With all of this, we would love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the mission statements? This is a starting point, and they are likely to evolve—especially as we hear from you, through your clicks, comments, and questions.