press about hearken

Featured press

Columbia Journalism Review: Platform aimed at audience interaction generates story ideas, goodwill 

While news organizations are continually looking for better ways to interact with their audiences ... the opportunity for readers or listeners to speak to journalists before they publish a story is rare. Hearken is particularly useful for small news organizations without the internal resources to develop social engagement.


KQED’s Hearken-powered series Bay Curious has proven to be extremely popular and widely viewed, generating 11 to 15 times more pageviews than the newsroom’s other stories ... There is often a disconnect between newsrooms and the organization’s business and marketing functions. The increased visibility of Bay Curious stories positively impacts ad awareness, providing opportunities to turn casual readers/viewers into donors or members. The Hearken platform and the audience-centric approach of Bay Curious touches and brings together all three of these functions simultaneously, and in a productive way.

Editor and Publisher: Digital Publishing: Newsrooms Should Invite Readers to Give Input on Story Ideas

The genius of how Hearken works is in its simplicity…Think of it as beta-testing story ideas before any valuable time is spent reporting and writing.

Nieman Lab: A Turning Point for Trust

People trust information that truly includes them ... Brandel goes so far as to call what Hearken does “public-powered journalism” — I don’t think information gathering can be more inclusive than that. 

The Washington Post: How journalism is changing for the better, in 1 chart

As a hater of the comments section and a lover of more audience-focused journalism -- there's nothing more corrosive to journalism's future than reporters writing for other reporters -- I found Brandel's argument fascinating and convincing.
Also, journalism at its root is about finding answers -- or trying to find answers -- to questions average people are wondering about. Why not, you know, try to develop a process by which you can actually solicit the ideas of your audience about what it would like to know more about?

More press

Mediashift: Bringing the ‘Public’ Back to Public Media - October 23, 2017 The UGC hub at the BBC builds trust with readers by involving them in the reporting - October 17, 2017

Media Voices Podcast: University of Oregon’s Damian Radcliffe on local journalism in the Pacific Northwest - October 16, 2017

Poynter: Small newsroom? Few resources? Here are 5 tips for scaling big projects down - October 10, 2017

Oregon Business: On the scene: Truth, trust and questions for the media - October 9, 2017

Wired: Actually, Do Read The Comments—They Can Be the Best Part - October 6, 2017

Nieman Lab: How CALmatters is finding audiences for statehouse coverage - October 3, 2017

Current's The Pub: What is a talk show supposed to be online? - September 18, 2017

Editor & Publisher: Power to the People - September 1, 2017

NPR: A Year After NPR Ends Commenting, No Plans To Revive It - August 28, 2017

Poynter Local Edition: Do the best ideas come from inside the newsroom? - July 17, 2017

FIPP: Approaching journalism as a service can provide new revenue opportunities - July 12, 2017

Poynter: Local Edition: Postcards, game nights and other real ways journalists can connect with their communities - July 5, 2017

It's All Journalism Podcast: Old school approach sometimes the best path forward - June 22, 2017

Journalism Expertise Center: Big Expertise Day - June 30, 2017

Poynter: Local Edition: Do the best ideas come from inside the newsroom? - June 27, 2017 Can we make local news taste less like medicine, more like lunch with friends - June 16, 2017

Quill: Power (Of Listening) To The Public

Quill: Engagement: Buzzword No More - June 14, 2017

IJNet: How a Chicago radio station connected with a more diverse audience - June 6, 2017

Responsive Philanthropy: Can Philanthropy Help Rebuild Trust in News and the Public Square? - May 30, 2017

Ryerson Review of Journalism: Tongue Tied: Trolls have been holding comments sections hostage for too long. Now news outlets are fighting back - May 29, 2017

Ghita Benslimane: What a Master’s Course on Community Engagement Taught Me - May 17, 2017

CJR: Curious Communities: Online engagement meets old-school, face-to-face outreach - May 25, 2017

CJR: Lessons in audience engagement from Chicago’s Curious City - May 25, 2017

INNovation Fund: Turning Readers Into Funders - May 16, 2017

Mediashift: Doing Social Media Without Numbers - May 16, 2017

Sexism and News Judgment by Carrie Brown - May 12, 2017

Local News Lab: How Local Fix Readers in Honolulu and Kansas City are Gaining Audience for Local Podcasts - May 12, 2017

IJNET: Newsrooms employ new tactics to connect with audiences - May 10, 2017

Local Fix: Collabor-ade and Questions - May 5, 2017

Democracy Fund: Pathways to Engagement: Understanding How Newsrooms Are Working With Communities - May 2, 2017
Luma Institute: Knight Foundation supercharges media projects through Human-Centered Design - April 28, 2017

Nieman Lab: With its Amazon-inspired pilot project, Panoply used listener feedback to help decide its new shows - April 27, 2017

Poynter: Local Edition: Journalists need to unlearn ‘we are the authority.’ ‘We are not.’ - April 25, 2017

Nieman Lab: With Open Notebook, Hearken wants to help news orgs do more of their reporting in public - April 24, 2017 (Note: "open notebook" has been renamed to "notebook.")

Local Fix: Local Podcasts that Work, Mobile Apps and Trust - April 21, 2017

First Draft: CrossCheck Behind the Scenes: Learn How to Debunk - April 20, 2017

Mediashift: Slow News: How Taking the Time to Listen and Focus Can Help Journalism’s Future - April 19, 2017

Smithsonian Mag: Learn the Secret History of Your State With These Addictive Podcasts - April 18, 2017

Blue Avocado: How To Be a Community-Powered Nonprofit - April 13, 2017 Optimising for trust: Advice for news organisations to improve their relationship with the public - April 8, 2017

Shots & Bytes: Making Media Collaborative and Transparent with Hearken - April 7, 2017

FIPP: How the ‘magical power of questions’ makes audiences 'partners' and wins back trust - April 6, 2017

CUNY Social J: Listening Starter Pack for New Social Journalists - April 6, 2017

Matter: It’s time for media to step up. - March 29, 2017

FIPP: How the ‘magical power of questions’ makes audiences 'partners' and wins back trust - April 6, 2017

CUNY Social J: Listening Starter Pack for New Social Journalists - April 6, 2017

Poynter: 6 questions to guide the way you engage with your audience - March 21, 2017

Journalism Fest: Without trust there is no business - March 17, 2017

Gather: Are You An Engaged Journalist? - March 9, 2017

CUNY Social J: My tech-punk community and some news from social j program - February 24, 2017

News Media Alliance: Hearken lets newspapers write first, publish second - February 22, 2017

News Media Alliance: Announcing the 2017 Pitch Accelerator Winners - February 16, 2017

FIPP: Social media 'leaves publishers in the dust, connecting people around stories' - February 6, 2017

Hot Pod: What does an audio producer actually do, anyway? - January 24, 2017

Digital Innovators' Summit: The innovative startup that is helping the public shape the news - January 4, 2017

Poynter: How a small public radio station uses a bread truck to spark community engagement - January 4, 2017

The Media Briefing: Five reasons why engagement is so hot right now - January 3, 2017

MediaShift: 5 Ways ‘Engaged Journalism’ Made Progress in 2016 - December 28, 2016

Urban Matter - 6 Cool Chicago Startups That Are Changing the Tech Landscape -December 21, 2016

Thoughts on Journalism: Creating A Trust Toolkit for Journalism - December 21, 2016

Nieman Lab: Journalism is community-as-a-service - December 19, 2016

Nieman Lab: Building reader relationships - December 19, 2016

Nieman Lab: Local news gets interesting - December 19, 2016

Current: How NPR One data points to new ways of thinking about local content - December 15, 2016

Chicago Inno: 17 Chicago Startups to Watch in 2017 - December 14, 2016

Current: Want to be good for democracy? Be better at democracy - December 12, 2016

De Correspondent: Let’s give reader comments another chance — and for real, this time - December 7, 2016

Skift: How the Founder of Hearken Is Disrupting the Field of Journalism - November 23, 2016

Poynter: After the election, news organizations need to listen more than ever - November 17, 2016

NHPR: What is Hearken, and How Can NHPR Use It to Improve Our Reporting? - November 5, 2016 

MediaShift: 5 Lessons Learned in Community Engagement in Oregon - October 31, 2016

Designmatters: LEAP Dialogues on the Road - October 11, 2016

Matter VC: 2016: the year of “we did it” - October 25, 2016

MediaShift: Where Are They Now? An Update on 5 Startups/Projects You Read About on MediaShift - October 14, 2016

Thrillist Chicago: Chicago's Most Innovative Startups Today - October 13, 2016

DG+CO: Stop Worrying and Learn To Love Online Comments - September 26, 2016

CJR: Five takeaways from the ONA 2016 conference - September 19, 2016

PBS SPI Blog: KQED: Disrupting Public Media - September 8, 2016

IJNet: How audience inclusion in key journalistic decisions can increase engagement - September 7, 2016

Global Investigative Journalism Network (GINJ): Know Your Audience, Build A Clique - September 5, 2016

NPR Viz: Pym.js v1.0.0 release - what do you need to know - August 31, 2016

City Bureau: This is What You Get for Reporting in the Open - August 24, 2016

Salon: Finito, comments: Goodbye to the loudest drunk in NPR’s online bar - August 24, 2016

Poynter: Comments are changing. Our commitment to audiences shouldn’t. - August 31, 2016

Moyers & Company: Goodbye to the Loudest Drunk in NPR’s Online Bar - August 23, 2016

Nieman Lab: NPR is retiring the comments section on its story pages - August 17, 2016

NPRNPR Website To Get Rid Of Comments - August 17, 2016

Rockman et. al's Disrupting Public Media: Building Community Through Innovation (Pt. 2): KQED and the power of public media as network - August 16, 2016

Idea Forge: Meet Hearken: The Chicago Startup Revolutionizing Editorial Decision Making -  August 4, 2016

El Observador (Uruguay): Why a project in social journalism about accessibility is being developed in Montevideo (in Spanish) - July 28, 2016

International Journalists Network: Five ways journalists can engage their audiences in storytelling - July 25, 2016

Current: Chicago’s Vocalo reins in eclectic approach but keeps focus on younger audience - July 21, 2016

Atlantic Media Strategies: Eight smart tactics to finish your year strong: For one, start treating Facebook like LinkedIn - July 21, 2016

The Coral Project: New Community Tools: Hearken - July 19, 2016

Matter VC: Listen up! Hearken’s got something to say: So much good stuff going on at our favorite audience-driven startup - July 19, 2016

Chicago Inno: Announcing The 2016 #CoolestCompanies Nominees! - July 19, 2016

CUNY: Seeking questions before answers - June 26, 2016

Chicago Inno: 4 Chicago Startups on Why They've Said No to VC - June 15, 2016

RJI Futures Lab update #154: Giving audiences access to the reporting process - June 15, 2016

Beacon Journal: Citizens panel advises Ohio media on election coverage - June 11, 2016 103 speakers you need at your next journalism event to avoid all-male panels - June 7, 2016

Media Briefing: Meet the start-up which argues better audience engagement can improve your bottom line, as well as your content - June 6, 2016

The University of Oregon: “Demystifying: Engagement — Building better relationships between journalists and audiences” - June 2, 2016

Sverige Radio: We need to start talking about stage presence and audience contempt - June 1, 2016

The Big Payoff: Why People Aren't Listening To You - June 1, 2016

Current: CUNY students brainstorm ways for public media to build membership - May 31, 2016

Joe Amditis (CUNY Social J Medium): Lessons in Community Engagement - May 23, 2016

Built in Chicago: 50 influential people in Chicago tech you should follow on Twitter - May 26, 2016

Metina Lista: Interview with Jennifer Brandel - May 21, 2016

API: The best ways to build audience and relevance by listening to and engaging your community - May 2, 2016

WUWM: What Have You Always Wondered About The Milwaukee Area? interview with Jenn Brandel - April 22, 2016

Knight Digital Media Center: Hearken Gives Community a Seat in the Editorial Process - April 11, 2016

DNAInfo: Hearken Takes Home "Best Bootstrap Award" at SXSW - March 18, 2016

Built in Chicago: Chicago media veteran wins bootstrap award at SXSW Interactive - March 14, 2016

ChicagoInno: 3 Chicago Startups Win Big at SXSW - March 9, 2016

Mediashift: One Year In, Hearken’s Audience Engagement Platform is Catching Fire - March 2, 2016

QuartzSilicon Valley needs a new kind of sex education - February 18, 2016

Built In Chicago: Top 50 Chicago startups to watch in 2016 - February 1, 2016

All Digitocracy: Hearken’s Jennifer Brandel Preaches the Gospel of Including Audiences in Storytelling - January 30, 2016

Poynter: Fresh from a $700,000 funding round, Hearken is scaling up to sell a new kind of journalism - January 20, 2016

Built in Chicago: How this Chicago startup is bringing in a new era of community-driven journalism - January 19, 2016

Current: Hearken Raises $700,000 in Seed Funding - December 14, 2015

Nieman Lab: How Participatory Journalism Turns News Consumers into Collaborators - November 17, 2015

Poynter: How 3 New Jersey newsrooms are turning to their readers for story ideas - October 8, 2015

Current: Three New Jersey newsrooms sign up with Hearken - October 8, 2015 Crowdsourced stories: Giving the audience what they want - August 31, 2015

PBS Media Shift: Why journalists should use transparency as a tool to deepen engagement - August 31, 2015

El Meme: Listen to the audience--8 leaders in media innovation talk with us about the future of journalism (in Spanish) - August 31, 2015

WGN Radio: Will Hearken revolutionize journalism? - August 14, 2015

DNSimple: Corey Haines on growing and harvesting an audience - August 12, 2015

Fast Company: Hearken aims to help media gain traction with readers by crowdsourcing story ideas - July 21, 2015

Current: How Hearken works with audiences to set the news agenda - June 23, 2015

Politico Media: The 60-second interview: Jennifer Brandel, Co-founder and C.E.O. of Hearken - June 23, 2015