John Robinson wrote a response today about the responses to his original post about fixing local news. I came across the original post via Steve Buttry’s post and wrote my own response about listening to the community.
And John’s post also talks about listening to the community.
Talk with people in the community. They’re the ones who you are trying to serve. Don’t survey them. We have enough surveys. Talk to them about what they need and how you can serve them. When was the last time you — a newsroom journalist — asked someone what you could do for them? Not a source. Not a relative. But a regular person who might or might not bother to read your prose. If you haven’t, how will you know if what you’re doing is what is helping them?
Make sure you read his entire post. It’s a good read.
Perhaps 2013 for journalists, especially those on the local beat, is the year we devote to listening.