The recent Journalism, Media and Technology Trends Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism cited human-centred news as a reason to be cheerful in 2023, giving the nod to The Human Journalism Network, a startup from the RED/ACCIÓN team in Argentina that aims to create a global content sharing network.
The Human Journalism Network is now seeking 20 media partners ahead of its live launch in March. It started in 2021 by sharing content across eight Latin American countries and is now set to expand globally, with content in English and Spanish.
The initiative is led by Chani Guyot, former Editor in Chief at La Nación, Argentina, who is now CEO and Publisher at RED/ACCIÓN, a startup which has received more than 30 awards in its four years as a specialist in solutions journalism.
Guyot received a Knight Innovate International Journalism Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to direct this project with the RED/ACCIÓN team.
“The Human Journalism Network is a content-sharing program for stories that portray how people and communities are dealing with our most urgent social problems,” he explained.
“We at RED/ACCIÓN believe there is a global need for more of these stories, and that they are more widely reported, which is why we put this project together.”
“For this 2023 global edition, which takes place from February to June (going live in March), we are inviting 20 media: 10 in English and 10 in Spanish from all over the world to share their stories, and benefit from being able to republish what other partners share.”
Guyot outlined details of the project via a WhatsApp Q&A:
What is human journalism?
It is stories from the ground about how people are dealing with their community’s social challenges. Even though we will prioritise a constructive approach (how those challenges are addressed in a scalable and meaningful way) this approach is not exclusive.
We will look for stories that are reported from the ground, with sources that reflect diversity, are well-written, and meet a high journalism standard. We want personal stories about people, but that are also universal.
There are similarities with solutions journalism. We will also publish human stories that might not explore solutions, but that address topics from a human perspective and portray the lives of people living with these challenges.
We are inviting some media that are operating in challenging environments – like Ukraine and El Salvador – that might not have solution- or constructive-approach stories, but we want them to be a part of this initiative, and to share their stories.
Why now – what do you hope to achieve
We want to exponentially grow the reach of human stories reported from all over the world, and create a massive and unique collaborative network of trusted media outlets to share those stories.
‘Today’s newsrooms are under productivity pressure that often prevents them from having the time and resources to report in-depth stories at scale. That’s why the THJN can help their best journalism reach new audiences to, ultimately, impact the way we see the world, broaden our mutual understanding and inspire new ideas and solutions.’
What gap are you addressing?
The audience is looking for these kinds of stories. We believe there are excellent journalists doing great reporting around the world and this is a way of serving these stories to a broader audience. There is not much overlap in the audience between the media that will be part of our network. It is a way of improving their offer of quality journalism to their audience because they will have access to these 40 stories reported by other media that would be interesting and beautiful for their audience.
From an audience perspective these stories perform well; people are interested in reading well-reported stories from the ground and, from the editor’s perspective, this is difficult and expensive journalism because you may have only one reporter on the beat. As an editor, these are the kind of stories you would like to have more of. This is a way to achieve that because it’s free and an easy way of offering your audience these kinds of stories.
Learnings from the Latam edition
These kinds of stories perform very well in terms of audience page views, even though they were from different regions – so a story reported in Mexico performs very well in Argentina or Colombia or Cuba, and so on.
We asked the editors to report the page views so we could track the impact. But it was hard, so for the global edition we have created a specific tag feature to see page views wherever published.
We are not collecting any data – just the number of page views. And we have signed a non-disclosure agreement that we do not share their information. We need to create trust among editors to push this extreme collaboration – and it is extreme because as an editor you have to trust that the other editors have done good work in terms of reporting, copyediting, fact-checking, and so on. This is why we are inviting trusted, medium-size media and we are taking a lot of care in the sense that all partners embrace quality journalism. We take care of the translation and the process.
About The Human Journalism Network
The Ask: 10 partners each in English and Spanish language media, worldwide
Focal Topics: Education | Health | Gender | Climate Crisis | Migration | Poverty | Arts | Circular Economy | Sustainability | Social Innovation | Human Rights |
Proposed Impact: Each story will multiply its reach (on average) 18 times. The shareable version of the stories will include a pixel ping tag that can track the page views of each republished story. A dashboard will share results and impact with the whole network.
The value proposition for each media
You share two of your human journalism stories.
Those stories multiply their reach x 18 times (on average)
You get to republish 38 other stories to serve your audience.
Invites the partners
Makes sure that each story fits the network’s philosophy
Translates and creates a shareable version of each story
Handles the process so the whole network can republish it.
Tracks and shares the impact
Newsrooms interested in joining the initiative can reach out via the website.
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