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Jennifer Brandel

People powered journalism

Meaning 2019

In the information age, countless sectors are having to radically restructure and re-invent themselves. Journalism in particular faces significant challenges: information moves faster and more unpredictably than ever; mistruths are rife; and levels of trust in journalists have been fundamentally damaged. Yet, as a vital ingredient of healthy democracy, journalism must survive.

Faced with this crisis in journalism, Hearken was founded on the belief that a fundamental mindset shift is required inside newsrooms. Hearken’s approach is centred around the idea of ‘people-powered journalism’ – a model that places readers, their concerns and their questions at the heart of content creation. This, in turn, empowers journalists to spend their time on the kind of work that they know is in demand from their readers. 

Hearken co-founder Jennifer Brandel joined us at Meaning to explain more about this approach. She shared her belief in the power of engaging audiences from the very start of the storytelling process, rather than seeing engagement as the eventual product of storytelling . 

Jennifer’s passion for creating better ways of working extends beyond journalism: through Zebras Unite, she’s also taking on the culture of startups and venture capitalism, determined to set new standards for healthy ways of working and collaborating. 

Through our time with Jennifer, we gained insight into how, when faced with whole new cultural shifts, organisations can find ways to adapt and improve to accommodate change, and even thrive. 

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