The questions, comments, and experiences you are hearing from your community are a great source of material and story ideas. Use community feedback to identify new leads or new angles on trending issues—or ones lacking media attention—and produce items for your outlet or organization that speak to the concerns and questions you are hearing.
When the Listening Post project in New Orleans wanted to tackle the increasingly contentious issue of affordable housing, it was important to avoid retreading the established narrative—that white outsiders were buying up neighborhoods and pricing long-term residents out. They placed a trio of community recording devices in neighborhoods with varying real estate costs, and asked, “What percentage of your income goes to housing?” And, “What would you miss most if you were priced out of your current neighborhood?” To balance out this community feedback, project members went on a ride-around with a local housing expert and real estate agent, an expert in a more traditional sense. They also followed up with a community member who sent the project a text message. She shared her unique example of home-ownership in a neighborhood that is rumored to be the landing spot for families priced out of their traditional areas. The end result was an informative radio segment that was journalistically sound, and reflective of the experience of community members.