Yvonne Leow

Messaging — everything from SMS and MMS to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik and WeChat — is how we share stories, organize events and increasingly run our lives. But it’s more than just a way for us to communicate; it’s become a platform where journalists share their stories and engage their audiences. I’m interested in taking it a step further, using messaging not just for distributing usual news alerts and notifications, but to have actual conversations with people about stories and issues they care about.

During the Knight Fellowship, I ran an experiment with a group of people to see whether they would engage with text messages about the news. Among those who signed-up during the JSK Festival of News Innovation, I selected people based in the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area with the goal of figuring out what “local news” means to them. Thanks to their engagement with my experiment, they’ve taught me a lot. The more we communicate with one another, the more I learn about their interests, perspectives and reactions to every story in almost real-time.

Learn more about the project below.

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