Jay Rosen’s Explainthis.org Would Have Journalists Answer Users’ Questions

Poynter.org has a good writeup of an idea that NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen has been batting around for a while, “Explain this.”  The basic idea is that news consumers would pose a question to a twitter-like interface and journalists would provide a credibly researched answer. (A typical question would be “why do we subsidize corn production?” ) It’s an interesting idea that could boost interest in explanatory journalism. # Link in context

It could, that is, if journalists are regarded as reliable truthbearers.  There’s ample evidence that news consumers in the US and elsewhere don’t trust journalists. A March, 2009 survey found that only 3% of British respondents found journalists trustworthy. A September, 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press Found that Americans’ trust in the accuracy and fairness of the news media is at a 20-year low# Link in context

Read more:  Jay Rosen’s Explainthis.org Would Have Journalists Answer Users’ Questions# Link in context

CC BY-ND 4.0 Jay Rosen’s Explainthis.org Would Have Journalists Answer Users’ Questions by Kim Pearson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Posted in Business models for journalism, Journalism and tagged , , .


My professional background is in public information, magazine journalism, blogging and journalism education. My current research is founded on the premise that democracy requires the broad participation of a computationally fluent citizenry. Civic media industries must reflect the communities they serve at the level of ownership, research and development, news gathering, presentation and community engagement. This adds greater urgency to the already critical need to broaden participation in computing. To that end, I have collaborated on curricular models for infusing computing into journalism education at both the scholastic and collegiate levels, and for promoting civic engagement in computer science education. My current interest is in exploring the potential of stochastic networks and as enhancement to social computing tools for broadening civic participation.
While most of this blog is devoted to my research in computational journalism and trends in journalism education, I occasionally do some storytelling of my own. This blog picks up where my other blogs, Professor Kim’s News Notes (http://professorkim.blogspot.com) and The Nancybelle Project (http://kimpearson.net/nancybelle.html) left off.

One Comment

Comments are closed.