News Rooms are struggling to cut through the digital noise and engage their audience. In this session you can hear how BBC World News has partnered up with Hearken to fuel public-powered journalism by bringing communities into news.

So many terms are thrown around that claim to be “engagement” journalism - measured by likes or shares on social media, reach of content or response to opinion polls and surveys. But unlike other “engagement” practices, the public-powered model of journalism practiced by Hearken’s newsroom partners includes members of the public from the very outset of the editorial process.

Hearken wants to turn the power of the reporting process over to the audience, all the way from pitch to publication?In this session, Bridget Thoreson, Engagement Strategist at Hearken and responsible for Hearken’s partnership with BBC World News will explain Hearkens philosophy and how they work with editorials like BBC World News.

She will be joined on stage by Chris Gibson, Assistant Editor, BBC World Service who has used Hearkens model and in February 2019 launched “We are Bradford” – a week of stories from and about Bradford, a hyper local pop-up editorial in a smaller city in the UK.

BBC News set out to make better use of digital platforms and they wanted to reach some of the audiences in their blind spots where BBC News normally has a low impact. BBC News moved the editorial to Bradford for a week and let the citizens of Bradford tell their stories and make their voices heard. BBC News had a drive to reflect communities differently and they succeeded.


Chris Gibson will unfold the case and talk about the set-out and what BBC News gained by making public-powered journalism.

Read more about “We are Bradford”:

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