Acknowledging the need to listen better to America’s diverse voices, the Huffington Post is taking 40 staffers on a tour of the United States that will visit about 25 communities — including stops in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania — and experimenting with new interview techniques.
They’re also partnering with local news outlets on stories.
Hillary Frey, HuffPo’s head of strategy, explained the project as an effort “to connect the largely New York- and D.C.-based news organization to non-coastal America,” Nieman Lab reported in an interview.
When we started talking about doing this tour — and I had some experience doing more questionnaire-based projects — we really wanted to create an environment where people feel comfortable getting personal with us. The goal of…training is to give our staff skills in active listening and to learn how to approach conversations with prompts rather than hard questions.
We want some expertise in how you guide a conversation to help people open up about what matters to them, and what issues they want to talk about. We really want to make sure we’re listening, and we’re asking questions that allow us to listen and respond and get people to go deeper, rather than go through set questions one through five.
This is an experiment worth watching.