Public-Powered Results


What have we learned from working with more than 150 newsrooms around the world? That practicing public-powered journalism results in significant benefits for the public, newsroom and democracy.



Be more likely to convert to subscribers

A year-long, independent study revealed that readers who engaged with Hearken were between 2–5x more likely to convert to paying supporters. - BITCH MEDIA

A data study of Hearken newsrooms showed that 56% of those who submitted questions through Hearken tech also subscribed to the newsroom’s newsletter.

The path to conversion on Hearken-powered story pages had an average that was almost double the average recorded for all stories. Average conversions for Hearken-powered stories were more than twice as many as all stories combined. - DALLAS MORNING NEWS


Spend more time on their website

“The average time-on-page was 5 minutes and 25 seconds, which is about four times higher than the average for” - WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO

“Visitors to our Hearken-powered stories spend an average of 5 minutes per story, with a site-wide story average of 3.5 minutes.” - NHPR

“Hearken-powered stories consistently rank in the top 10 for average engaged minutes and perform well-above average on social media channels.” - LANCASTER ONLINE

“Hearken-powered Brave Little State content also sees less than half the bounce rate than visits site-wide.” - VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO




Consistently out-perform

Hearken generated the #1 top-performing story to date of the following newsroom websites: WBEZ, WUWM, KRCC. These newsrooms have had some of their biggest website and social media hits of all time via Hearken: ABC (Australia), WESA, NHPR, VPR,, Lancaster Online.

“On average, Hearken-powered stories outperform all articles by 300%.” - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

“Because of our Hearken-powered story, the number of users for the week increased by 240% compared to the same week last year. Pageviews increased by 90%.” - WPR

“Sessions that included a visit to a Hearken-powered Texplainer story were 8 percent longer on average. These stories outperform other Texas Tribune stories in terms of reach — averaging 2 percent more users and 6 percent more views — and engagement.” - TEXAS TRIBUNE

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Win prestigious awards

Hearken-powered journalism has won the most prestigious awards in the industry, including: Edward R. Murrow Awards, PRNDI Awards, Associated Press Awards and were part of the Pulitzer Prize award-winning package from The South Florida Sun Sentinel on Parkland.

Our newsroom partners have awards won for:

- Excellence in Innovation

- Public Service

- Community Engagement

- Best Science and Health Reporting

- Best Documentary Feature

- Arts & Culture Reporting

- Best Local Podcast

- Overall Excellence


WHEN NEWSROOMS LISTEN, their organizations WILL:

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Unlock new revenue streams

Vermont Public Radio’s Hearken-powered ‘Brave Little State’ generated more than 10% of their total pledge drive yield, and frequently sells out podcast underwriting spots.

KPCC received a $30k donation because of their Hearken-powered California wildfire coverage.

Newsrooms consistently sell-out their paid live events through their Hearken-powered work, including curiosity cruises, bus tours, bike tours, live podcasts, live puppet shows, town halls and more.

Hearken-powered work has received more than $2 million dollars in grant-funding. Many foundations see listening and community participation in journalism as key to their missions.

Never have I found an organization that so effectively articulates the business case for engagement while also providing tools and building enthusiasm and buy-in for the heart of the work.
— Ashely Alvarado, KPCC
I realized that the audience is so much more engaged than I thought that they were… That was very exciting for me to see. People actually cared about what I was putting out there, and what they shared was actually really good.
— Christina Morales, WUFT

Feel more trusting, gratified and fulfilled

Through Hearken, “…many journalists we interviewed developed more trust toward their audience and understanding of its preferences, needs, and suggestions.” - Agora Journalism Center Report “Putting Engagement To Work

“… Journalists are more satisfied and find their work more meaningful and significant when they practiced audience engagement.” - Reynolds Journalism Institute study

“The payoff of seeing so many listeners and audience members engaging with this story, on our website and on other channels, has been really gratifying — and a nice reminder that it's worth the extra effort to collect and pursue these audience-driven stories.” - Casey McDermott, NHPR

Using Hearken’s public-powered model of seeking out audience questions that we can answer in reports has both our staff and community producers the chance to pursue stories that might not otherwise have a logical place on our airwaves. It’s allowed WYSO to engage with our audience on a deeper level, making them feel involved in the reporting process in way that makes sense for all of us. The Hearken platform itself keeps the entire process organized, running smoothly and looking good - which for a small shop is HUGE.
— Juliet Fromholt, WYSO


We help teach, train and inspire newsrooms to adopt new models of engaged journalism. We developed a unique methodology called “public-powered journalism” that has been tested and worked in newsrooms of every kind, all over the world.


It’s time to retire the idea that newsrooms are the public’s parents, deciding what they want or what they need, and instead help the public find out what can’t be googled.


The theory of change of journalism is broken - but at Hearken we’ve learned that involving the public in the process of making journalism can fix it.