IDEA method “Foreign Correspondents”

The foreign correspondent method unveiled that several issues relating to how Journalists and Developers work together in newsrooms are international. For this I interviewed editorial people that work closely with tech people plus one developer in USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Norway. Many of their take-aways align with my own experiences in Denmark.

  1. There is great potential. Developers bring both new tools to the newsroom but also other viewpoints that can help create better Journalism.
  2. Journalists and developers often have a poor understanding of what the other group does. The interviewed journalists and editorial leaders feel a strong need for the groups to learn from each other. They recommend working closer, embedding developers in newsrooms or employing “translators” to help the communication.
  3. Editorial especially have a lack of knowledge of how long something will take to build. Developers feel that expectations are often unrealistic.
  4. The relationship between editorial and product is more strained than between journalists and developers in a newsroom setting. The lack of understanding seems greater.
  5. Developers need to be put into the mix earlier and be part of the central decisions. They need to be respected as just as creative as journalists. But the business seems to be moving in the right direction on this issue.

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