During the past two years we worked with thousands of journalists, newsroom developers and designers from dozens of countries around the world. Thanks to them we figured it out. We now know what it takes to improve journalism in the digital age. These tips are now our manifesto:
1. Be confident and have trust that together we are smart enough to come up with solutions and answers. The biggest obstacle is fear: you’re afraid of making a mistake, of looking silly, of failing. According to John Cleese confidence and trust are essential to be creative and to overcome these challenges.
2. Use an audience first approach. We make and build stories and products for our users. Better focus on them from the beginning.
3. Go for it: Experiment, experiment, EXPERIMENT.
4. And build the future of journalism. Stop talking, start building. Learning by making is key, because a new future proof practice in media and journalism will be established more quickly. We totally agree with Amy Webb: “Media organizations and journalists must cope with hundreds of first-time situations driven by technology at a pace unmatched in any other time in history. Novelty is the new normal.”
5. Cooperate! Work in interdisciplinary teams with skills in journalism, design and code. There is always something to learn from other points of view and their expertise.
6. And while you’re at it. Share your knowledge. With your colleagues. With journalists and newsroom developers and designers around the world. We all have the same goal: fulfill our fundamental role in society as a verifier, explainer, and contextualizer to increase understanding. So, let’s help each other.
7. Remember to have fun. Delight and play are important drivers of innovation and historical change. When you are playing there are there are no wrong answers, only good ones. Play to change journalism.
8. The best is yet to come in journalism. We know. You know it.
We’re always looking for people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in pursuit of the same goal: change journalism in this digital age for the better. We would like to work together with our community and clients so that we can all succeed. Join us for the ride.