Technology, participation and values: how to design innovative news things

Skye Doherty
4 min readJul 8, 2022
Technology is material that can be designed for participation and journalistic values.

Designing stories for public interest values, participation and to exploit technological potential is one way to drive journalism innovation.

Despite widespread recognition that innovation is needed for public interest storytelling to prevail, there is less consensus about what innovation looks like beyond adopting new digital tools, or how to exploit those tools while maintaining a commitment to core journalistic principles.

However, as the internet of things, mixed reality platforms and responsive environments become more mainstream, it is vital that journalists not only work out how to make use of these novel technologies but do so independently of major platforms.

Independence is key to ensuring public interest values are at the heart of journalism innovation.

In a new paper, Jane Johnston, Ben Matthews and I aruge that rather that constantly adapting to new tools and platforms, journalists need to engage in a designerly process of configuring, exploring and imagining how to exploit technological change in a way that serves the public interest.

We propose a process model of material exploration that involves working with technology, participation and values to design new types of stories and news experiences. The…