The Gazette decided to explain how it covered a story by writing a separate article on their website and linking to it from the main story page. They included the link inside a pull-out box on the story page.
The Gazette decided to explain how it covered a story by writing a separate article on their website and linking to it from the main story page. They included the link inside a pull-out box on the story page.
When communities are faced with a big decision at the ballot box, we try our best to provide the facts. The Tennessean did that in an editorial but also included a section that shared who the journalists met with and talked to while putting the story together. The ballot measure ended up failing, but the newsroom received positive feedback about their in-depth coverage on the issue.
When communities are faced with a big decision at the ballot box, we try our best to provide the facts. The Tennessean did that in an editorial but also included a section that shared who the journalists met with and talked to while putting the story together. The ballot measure ended up failing, but the newsroom received positive feedback about their in-depth coverage on the issue.
The Coloradoan added a note to the top of a story about allegations of sexual misconduct against a local comedian.
The Coloradoan added a note to the top of a story about allegations of sexual misconduct against a local comedian. The newspaper posted their story on the issue later than other news organizations and wanted to explain why. The note read: “To investigate this story, the Coloradoan spent the past month vetting accounts, speaking to police and interviewing all parties involved before publishing this story.” In addition, they wrote a separate editorial about their decision to wait on publishing that explained their reporting process and decision making.
The Coloradoan posted an article on their website explaining why they waited to report on sexual misconduct allegations against a local comedian.
The Coloradoan posted an article on their website explaining why they waited to report on sexual misconduct allegations against a local comedian. To explain why their reporting came later, while other news organizations published it sooner, the article discussed their reporting process to verify the information and the ethical considerations they had to make along the way. When they shared the article on Facebook there was one critical commenter who apologized for earlier comments made after reading the reporting explanation.
The Coloradoan posted an article on their website explaining why they waited to report on sexual misconduct allegations against a local comedian.
The Coloradoan posted an article on their website explaining why they waited to report on sexual misconduct allegations against a local comedian. To explain why their reporting came later, while other news organizations published it sooner, the article discussed their reporting process to verify the information and the ethical considerations they had to make along the way. When they shared the article on Facebook there was one critical commenter who apologized for earlier comments made after reading the reporting explanation.
While working on a story about the Parkland school shooting, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor decided to share how she was able to get in touch with the students she quoted in her article. She said it felt "totally natural" to include this information and helped her explain her reporting process to her users.
While working on a story about the Parkland school shooting, A reporter for the Christian Science Monitor decided to share how she was able to get in touch with the students she quoted in her article. She said it felt “totally natural” to include this information and helped her explain her reporting process to her users.
By posting a story on their website, WITF decided to explain how journalists put together one of the shows they air. The article discussed how they use wire content and other national news coverage. It also discussed how much of the news segment is local.
In a story on their website, WITF explains how journalists put together one of the shows they air. The article discusses how they use wire content and other national news coverage, and what their relationship is to those partner organizations. It also discusses how much of the news segment is local.
Sometimes explaining why you are not covering a story is just as helpful for your users as explaining why you are covering one. KCRG did just that when users asked them why they were not covering all school threats happening in the community. They decided to write an explainer story on their website explaining when and why they will cover school threats and also when they will not. The policy was one that was known inside the newsroom but it was the first time they were making their policy public.
Sometimes explaining why you are not covering a story is just as helpful for your users as explaining why you are covering one. KCRG did just that when users asked them why they were not covering all school threats happening in the community. They decided to write an explainer story on their website explaining when and why they will cover school threats and also when they will not. The policy was one that was known inside the newsroom but it was the first time they were making their policy public.
Sometimes explaining why you are not covering a story is just as helpful for your users as explaining why you are covering one. KCRG did just that when users asked them why they were not covering all school threats happening in the community. They decided to write an explainer story on their website explaining when and why they will cover school threats and also when they will not. The policy was one that was known inside the newsroom but it was the first time they were making their policy public.
Sometimes explaining why you are not covering a story is just as helpful for your users as explaining why you are covering one. KCRG did just that when users asked them why they were not covering all school threats happening in the community. They decided to write an explainer story on their website explaining when and why they will cover school threats and also when they will not. The policy was one that was known inside the newsroom but it was the first time they were making their policy public.
After receiving a 911 audio tape close to air time WUSA found itself in a situation where it had to turn a story quickly. Like many breaking news situations, this means, information may come out in pieces and not all in one concise story. To explain this, WUSA let the user in on their reporting process by adding the following language on-air: "We have about a half-hour of 9-1-1 audio that our team is going through, right now -- If there's anything else in there that's important to pass along -- we'll have it for you tomorrow morning, on Wake up Washington."
After receiving a 911 audio tape close to air time WUSA found itself in a situation where it had to turn a story quickly. Like many breaking news situations, this means, information may come out in pieces and not all in one concise story. To explain this, WUSA let the user in on their reporting process by adding the following language on-air: “We have about a half-hour of 9-1-1 audio that our team is going through, right now — If there’s anything else in there that’s important to pass along — we’ll have it for you tomorrow morning, on Wake up Washington.”
Throughout an investigative story, WUSA explained to its users how they produced a story. The reporter began by relating to the community by explaining his connection to the city of Washington, D.C. Then the reporter explained what questions they were trying to answer by doing the story and why they felt it was an important story to produce. Throughout the story they discuss their reporting process and invite feedback and questions. The reporter even offers his cell phone to users on-air.
Throughout an investigative story, WUSA explained to its users how they produced a story. The reporter began by relating to the community by explaining his connection to the city of Washington, D.C. Then the reporter explained what questions they were trying to answer by doing the story and why they felt it was an important story to produce. Throughout the story they discuss their reporting process and invite feedback and questions. The reporter even offers his cell phone to users on-air.
In an effort to be more transparent with its users, the Jefferson City News Tribune, wrote a column about how the editorial page works. In the column they discuss their mission as a news organization, explain that the editorial page is made up of people's opinions not news and then talk about how the page works. They explain that they are an independent paper that tends to lean conservative but they still look to include other views different than their own. They also embedded their user feedback form at the bottom of the article.
In an effort to be more transparent with its users, the Jefferson City News Tribune, wrote a column about how the editorial page works. In the column they discuss their mission as a news organization, explain that the editorial page is made up of people’s opinions not news and then talk about how the page works. They explain that they are an independent paper that tends to lean conservative but they still look to include other views different than their own. They also embedded their user feedback form at the bottom of the article.
To explain how they gather information and fact-check the information they receive, the Community Impact Newspaper group wrote a story for their website. The story focused on a recent article about opioid abuse and discussed how they try to balance opinions and viewpoints published in their news content.
To explain how they gather information and fact-check the information they receive, the Community Impact Newspaper group wrote a story for their website. The story focused on a recent article about opioid abuse and discussed how they try to balance opinions and viewpoints published in their news content.
Screenshot of the Christian Science Monitor Instagram Story where they interview their global affairs correspondent.
The Christian Science Monitor sat down with their global affairs correspondent to answer questions ranging from fun (What is your favorite meal?) to powerful (What makes your reporting distinct?). The answers were posted to Instagram Stories which gave them room to experiment and helped them reach a younger audience.
Screenshot from the Christian Science Monitor page on Facebook.
Planning a big story? Let readers chime in with the questions they’d like to see answered. The Christian Science Monitor saw “validation that our audience likes to be a part of the process” when they introduced their interns, shared their own goals for covering an upcoming political event, and prompted readers to share what they’d ask. They also set clear expectations of how reader questions would be used.
Newsy Native Americans
627 likes on a comment! Look for opportunities to explain your process, especially when you see commenters asking questions about it. This comment shows a thoughtfulness behind word choices that not all news consumers would assume journalists have. This example also shows the value of staying involved in the conversations we host and participating in them.
Ogden behind the scenes pornography
With big stories, take time to introduce the staff behind the scenes. Use it as an opportunity to explain why you did a story, what questions you set out to answer and how it came together.
Screenshot from a Discourse Media newsletter
At Discourse, newsletters allow reporters the freedom to show more personality than they do in finished pieces. Here, the reporter shares how her goals, her sourcing, and some practical limitations (juggling deadlines!) shapes her reporting on a topic. Abundantly linking can also help readers follow along on their own.
Newsrooms get a lot of complaints about covering too much “bad news.” Too much conflict, violence, argument and devastation. In short, too many problems. Some of that comes with the territory, of course. Shining a light on a community’s challenges is a key function of journalism. But often, we try to aggressively report not just on problems but also on the people and projects working to solve them. We highlight what’s working, not just what’s broken. And when we do that, we need to clearly point it out. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
We’re learning a lot at Trusting News about how news consumers decide what to trust and what journalists can do in response. Lynn and I could (and often do) talk all day about it! (It’s nerdy, we know.) But with the launch this week of a revamped TrustingNews.org, we’re hoping to give you a simple on-ramp to discussing trust in your newsroom. To read more from this edition click here and you can sign up for the weekly “Trust Tips” newsletter by clicking here.
Recently, I was so excited to listen to a behind-the-scenes episode of a favorite podcast. The host promised wild stories about how a story I’d enjoyed had come together. In reality, though, much of the episode focused on some pretty mundane aspects of how reporting happens — like how interviews and sources fell through, the weather made travel complicated and a staff member was sidelined by a sick kid. To read more from this edition click here and you can sign up for the weekly “Trust Tips” newsletter by clicking here.
When writing a story or headline, journalists are ideally choosing their words carefully. Sometimes our decisions follow company style guides. Other times they’re the center of lengthy newsroom discussions. But we very rarely talk to our audiences about why we use certain words over others, let alone shine a light on the debate and discussion that took place. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
Journalists often face tough decisions when it comes to whether and how to publish disturbing images. They carefully weigh their responsibility to accurately and compellingly reflect a harsh reality while also avoiding exploitation and respecting the preferences and privacy of both their audience members and the subjects of the images. As Kelly McBride wrote for Poynter last week, it’s not up to newsrooms to shield their communities from hard truths, but they can minimize harm by treating the situation carefully. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here

 

A big part of what we do at the Trusting News project is help journalists talk about how we do our jobs, including how and why we make decisions. When we explain our process, we allow users to see how our story came together, why we put resources toward covering the story and why we chose to include certain people, images and words. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
Trust Tips 4: Use Direct Language
Cutline, VOSOT, A1 — just because you say it in the newsroom doesn’t mean your audience will understand it. We all know how important it is to use words that help us communicate clearly with our audiences. That’s true for the language we use when reporting on complex topics, and when we talk about our own work. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here.
Annenberg Media updated their "about" section on their YouTube channel
Annenberg Media updated their “about” section on their YouTube channel to explain a new series they were launching called “Full Disclosure.” They told users, “We want you to trust us. We’re pulling back the curtain on the decisions that go into reporting and publishing stories at Annenberg Media…” The description provides clarity for the user while the newsroom capitalizes on a simple branding opportunity offered by the social platform.
Annenberg Media updated their "about" section on their YouTube channel
Annenberg Media updated their “about” section on their YouTube channel to explain a new series they were launching called “Full Disclosure.” They told users, “We want you to trust us. We’re pulling back the curtain on the decisions that go into reporting and publishing stories at Annenberg Media…” The description provides clarity for the user while the newsroom capitalizes on a simple branding opportunity offered by the social platform.
Taking readers behind the scenes can help with so many things: Showing a reporter's personality and motivations, explaining how a story comes together, and providing context. Instagram Stories gave a Discourse reporter an easy and personable way to share her thoughts during a reporting trip.
Taking readers behind the scenes can help with so many things: Showing a reporter’s personality and motivations, explaining how a story comes together, and providing context. Instagram Stories gave a Discourse reporter an easy and personable way to share her thoughts during a reporting trip.