How community listening can help shape election-year coverage


What do audiences really want when it comes to campaign and elections coverage? 

It’s a tough question, especially for local news organizations that want to deliver comprehensive coverage but don’t have the resources to do everything. People’s information needs involving elections are complex and varied. Some want basic nuts and bolts, like guides to candidates or where to vote. Others want political analysis. Many want both. Some people care about bread-and-butter issues, others about social and cultural issues. 

One way to deliver what audiences want is by listening to them, going into the community to get first-hand answers to basic questions: What do people know or not know about their governments and representatives? What kinds of coverage do they need to be more informed members of their communities? And which kinds of political stories most engage them — or make them tune out?

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