Including local readers into the journalistic cycle can help to bring your stories to life or take your investigation even deeper.
But one of the main concerns around citizen journalism has always been ensuring reports meet industry standards. This is why there have been efforts to train local residents as reporters, but it is harder than it sounds.
For help getting that process down smoothly, Detour Detroit provides some learned lessons from their watchdog workshops, which resulted in a reader-lead investigation into law-breaking real estate speculators. As founder Ashley Woods Branch writes on GIJN, simplicity is a virtue and your best friend moving forward.
"Your readers have likely never participated in an act of public journalism before. Make sure to limit your scope," she writes.