My suggestions for Dowser.org, who aim to report on global solutions

Dowser logo

Dowser.org is a new online news site that aims to cover solutions to social problems. It’s journalism, but focussed on what we are learning about what can be done.

A media theorist might say this is reporting from a “solution” frame. Whatever you call it, I support the idea.

They are actively soliciting feedback on their idea. This was mine:

Great idea.

I think solid information on who is solving which problems is really important. I have three broad suggestions.

1) Please consider including a set of “topic pages” as well as running news stories. Social problems are often complex and contextual, and we badly need continuously-updated primer articles that bring the newly curious up to speed on specific problems.

2) If you guys have any money at all, you should solicit contributions from freelance journalists for coverage and analysis of interesting global projects.

3) consider publishing in more than one language, or allowing hybrid computer-human translations using, e.g. the free World Wide Lexicon system.

I’m a freelance journalist and computer scientist living in Hong Kong, who specializes in applications of technology to social problems. @jonathanstray on twitter.

Would love to keep in touch.

There’s a great deal more I could say on why I made these specific recommendations. For now, I’ll leave it to the hyperlinks. For additional ideas on how to offer good translations of every page for near-free, see also Yeeyan.com, a successful volunteer news translation community with 100,000 users.

(hat tip: @NiemanLab for bringing them to my attention.)

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