What kind of information - not just content - do you need as a news consumer?


Sometimes newspapers lose sight of what their readers need to know. While topics that answer what people might be interested in, such as what one would find in the opinion section of a newspaper or in feature pieces, appeal to some, newspapers don't always write about what community members want to know. 

A new tool aims to solve this problem and help newspapers figure out what their readers need to know. Andrew Haeg, co-creator of Pulse, hopes to provide newspapers with responses from people about what they want to read about. He thinks that journalists should write information that will help people solve problems, overcome challenges and achieve things. 

Pulse is a survey tool that assesses information needs in a community and notifies newsrooms so they can fill that need or information gap. The idea came from Google, which performed an experiment by sending messages to internet users asking what kind of information would suit their needs best and what they were looking for when they used the search engine. The same concept was used in creating Pulse, which asked community members what they needed to know, if they were able to find the information they were looking for and how much they needed to know the information. 

The results of the study revealed people wanting to know more about topics that were covered by the newspaper, but not to the extent that people wanted. In some cases, people wanted to know more about what was happening in their community more than the papers were telling them. A lot of times, people preferred community-specific stories over general ones that would appeal to a larger audience. If your newspaper wants to see what its readers want to look at when they open the pages, they can apply to use Pulse. 

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