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Questions are the new comments

Hearken is a new way of approaching journalism and a technology to support it. We enable media makers to engage audiences at the very moment of story’s genesis, before reporting, publication and the comments section. Hearken helps newsrooms create original, popular stories, deep audience engagement as well as generates leads and meaningful data.

Much in the way Threadless figured out how to pre-sell t-shirts, and how Kickstarter builds community and demand in advance of a project, Hearken sources interest for articles before a journalist ever puts finger to keyboard. Hearken helps journalists source original story ideas, validate interest in those ideas before any effort or resources are put into reporting. This ensures the stories created have maximum relevance and impact. Audiences get direct input and power in what their media outlets cover, and can collaborate with the professionals to create content that directly fills their information gaps.

As a person who came into journalism accidentally, I had a lot of questions about the processes of making stories and why the very people newsrooms are trying to serve aren’t consulted and involved until after stories are published. Hearken corrects for this flaw through a combination of best practices and technology. I experimented with this framework for a few years in launching WBEZ’s Curious City series, and have now scaled it via Hearken so any newsroom can do audience-first journalism.

Jennifer Brandel, Author.

Project at a Glance :

Year : 2015
Proprietary or Open-source : Proprietary
Types : Creation and publishing,Customizability,Direct engagement,Ease of use,Engagement management
Inputs : images,Text,Votes
Outputs : Embeddable modules
Skill levels : Advanced options for CSS + HTML,No coding background necessary
Costs : Sliding scale based on organization size; tax status and monthly impressions.
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