WLRN Wants to Know What You're Curious About Life In South Florida
WLRN News is launching a new project. It’s called Palm Readers. No, we're not becoming psychics, but our newsroom does want to help answer some questions you might have about life here in South Florida.
Luis Hernandez sat down with Engagement producer Katie Lepri recently to discuss how the project works and how you can get involved.
H: What is Palm Readers?
L: It's a community-driven journalism project. Basically, we want to know what you want to know. Really.
What do you want to know about South Florida, its people, its culture and its landmarks? What burning question do you have?
Why is WLRN doing this?
Great journalism starts with a question. We want to turn the tables on how our newsroom works. Typically, our reporters and producers will pitch stories, then those stories will get assigned. We want to bring you in ... so that you can help shape the stories that you hear on the radio. The listeners are, in a way, pitching story ideas. You ask. We answer.
Who's going to be answering those questions?
We're going to ask you to submit your question online. We'll be monitoring those questions and bringing them to our story meetings. We'll see which ones we can actually investigate and throw them back out to you to vote on your favorite. Then we will invite the person who pitched the winning question into the reporting process, either out in the field or into the studio.
This idea has been tried in a couple of other stations with great success. What are some of the things that you've seen some other stations do with this?
Some of the questions that have come up in different stations include ones like: How did Austin become the live music capital of the world? Or on a less serious note: Are there really more cows than people in Vermont? Another question: How did Metro Milwaukee become so segregated? This process allows the newsroom to get a better sense of what the public wants to hear or read about. Plus it gives the audience a chance to participate in a way they might never have had before. These stories have often become some of the favorites among listeners.
How does it work exactly?
It's really easy. If you visit wlrn.org, you'll see a little module on the right-hand side of our website and you can submit your question right there.