Amazing Asks and Creative Call Outs


Readers can provide fantastic content for publications. Community members can be the best and first content providers on trend pieces, weather phenomena, tragedies , and cultural events.

What are the best examples you’ve seen of a news orgs asking for submissions from its readers? What are the best visualizations,interactives,and displays of collected contributions?

Alternatively what are some you would like to see in call out and content gathering tools? What are things you wished papers asked for?


I love turning to social media to hear (and see and read!) firsthand from individuals, and I love even more that newsrooms cast a wider net of contributions. There is definitely no shortage of user-generated content published in the last year alone.

I am biased, but here are two recent projects at The Washington Post:
This Year I Learned asks readers to leave a voicemail about what they learned in the past year. I love how voicemail keeps contributions succinct. Some of my favorite contributions aren’t more than a few sentences long.

The Feminism Project prefaces a comment thread with a question related to the article. We did not receive as many comments as expected, but the level of civility was the best outcome of all.

CNN asked individuals to call and leave a voicemail of their love story. Voicemail is a very powerful medium when it comes to sharing personal details.

The New York Times also created a beautiful presentation of personal stories about identifying with the transgender community.