Course Description

What do a roll of toilet paper, a plastic zebra and other assorted props have to do with engagement pioneer Jennifer Brandel?  Find out in this lively lecture where Jennifer shares her experience as a newsroom intrapreneur and a media startup founder, and how she engages the audience in a two-way relationship.

As Jennifer says, "Journalism goes into communities and says, we know what's best for you... What if journalists were able to go into a community and say, we don't know what information needs you have. I don't have your life experience but I've got eight hours a day to find information out for people. So what do you not know that I could find out for you?"

This video contains many real life examples of Jennifer bringing her audience into her reporting, from finding Al Capone’s secret tunnels in Chicago to helping Floridians survive Hurricane Michael, to turning critics into allies and allies into supporters. 

Take this class whether you are a journalism student, a professional journalist or a member of the public curious to take a peek behind the scenes.

This video lecture is made possible in part by a grant from the News Integrity Initiative to "build enduring trust and mutual respect between newsrooms and the public through sustained listening, collaboration, and transparency." 

The series was filmed in the Newmark J-School studio in New York.

Video Lecturer

Jennifer Brandel

This is the instructor section. You can use this space to tell and show your students who you are and why you're the perfect person to teach the course you're offering. You can talk about your work and education history, and really anything else that shows off who you are so your students get excited about learning from you. You're the expert after all, this is your chance to shine!

Course curriculum

  • 1

    1. Introduction

    • Introduction

  • 2

    2. Growing up curious

    • Skateboards and firecrackers

    • Love Hertz

    • The college years

    • Curiosity, Compassion and Courage

  • 3

    3. The power of outsiders

    • From Canada to Tasmania to Chicago

    • The Baha'i faith

    • Humble posture of service

  • 4

    4. Public-powered journalism

    • Feed the beast

    • Too much power

    • Birth of Curious City

    • Bring the public into the process

    • Links

  • 5

    5. Curious City case studies

    • A peek at the platform

    • Where does your poop go?

    • Links

  • 6

    6. Newsroom culture shift

    • Fears and lessons

    • Newsroom allies

    • Share results

    • New workflows

    • Links

  • 7

    7. Starting Hearken

    • The startup way

    • So you want to be an entrepreneur?

    • Links

  • 8

    8. Hearken case studies

    • The 86th Texas legislative session

    • Hurricane Michael

    • Building trust in Rochester

    • Links

  • 9

    9. Lessons from a media startup

    • Selling to newsrooms

    • Pitching change

    • The zebra startups

    • Links

  • 10

    10. My engagement theory of change

    • The power of questions

    • The engagement ring

    • Last questions

    • Links

    • Survey: Did you like this lecture?

Reviews

5 star rating

Great course

Evelina Nedlund

This course was very interesting, and I learned new things. Would definitely recommend.

This course was very interesting, and I learned new things. Would definitely recommend.

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5 star rating

Wonderful, healer, useful, real practice of Journalism

Lola Fernández

I am going to use your service focused practice of Journalism in the theoretical and practical development of my PhD thesis. I wish there would be any Spanis...

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I am going to use your service focused practice of Journalism in the theoretical and practical development of my PhD thesis. I wish there would be any Spanish media working from this point of view. Thank you from Spain

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5 star rating

Love hearing her perspective!

Harsha Nahata

Feels very candid, conversational, and she does a great job of drawing in journalists at any part of their careers.

Feels very candid, conversational, and she does a great job of drawing in journalists at any part of their careers.

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5 star rating

Good

Shamsun Nahar

Thank You

Thank You

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5 star rating

Interesting!

Henna Choudhary

I really appreciate Jennifer's anecdotes and narratives - they give her course a more intimate feel which enraptures an audience! Also, this course casts a l...

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I really appreciate Jennifer's anecdotes and narratives - they give her course a more intimate feel which enraptures an audience! Also, this course casts a light on THE most important and vital aspect of journalism: people.

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4 star rating

Excellent overview that left me curious to learn more

Adriana Velez

This course quickly gave me a very clear understand of what exactly people-powered journalism is, including the basic outline of how it's done. I appreciate...

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This course quickly gave me a very clear understand of what exactly people-powered journalism is, including the basic outline of how it's done. I appreciated the links for more resources and I look forward to learning more and hopefully putting ppj into practice.

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2 star rating

Laura Fay

1 star rating

OK?

Noah Jones

I'm just a little confused. I thought I was going to learn about engaging with community through journalism. In these first two chapters, it's just been the ...

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I'm just a little confused. I thought I was going to learn about engaging with community through journalism. In these first two chapters, it's just been the woman's life journey. I'm not super certain there's much to gain than her life background

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