Models, frameworks help media companies identify audiences and their needs

By Jodie Hopperton


Los Angeles, California, United States


Given that I spend all day every day looking at product for news, I feel like I see a million product frameworks out there. Every now and then, one stands out. 

Above we solved the problem of using fragments of stories on different platforms and reusing parts of stories at a future date with modular journalism. But how do we know who our audiences are? 

We don’t need to know every person, but we do need to have an idea of who you are creating for. If you need a 101, here’s your guide. This was actually written for the UK public sector, but — bear with me here — Khalil A. Cassimally, head of audience insights at The Conversation, highlighted this and it is highly relevant to news media. 

This flowchart illustrates how to reach audiences.
This flowchart illustrates how to reach audiences.

Once you know who your users are, understand what they need. Dmitry Shishkin has spent years perfecting the user needs model and is inspired by his time at the BBC and, in the last few years, working as a consultant studying user needs across multiple organisations.  

Dmitry Shishkin's user needs model.
Dmitry Shishkin's user needs model.

Lastly for today, here’s how to show your work. I am in love with the FT’s visual journalism chart. What a fabulous reference for journalists to have as inspiration when they write stories. I’m particularly impressed that they have spent time and energy on this so that data and visualisation come in at the beginning of the story, not at the end.

The Financial times' visual journalism chart.
The Financial times' visual journalism chart.

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About Jodie Hopperton

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