Diversifying the voices amplified in our reporting and sharing power with those featured in our work are key means towards building trust between journalists and their communities.
This means, wherever possible, using a source’s own words when describing their experiences and identities, as well as understanding who is featured so that we can offer complete stories to our audiences.
The Modifier approach to source tracking reflects the need to request self-description in our everyday reporting routines and take ownership of the voices heard in our journalism. Our goal for this process is to balance the positive behavior changes that come from journalists consciously tracking their own sources with the labor required to get a full picture.
We’ve developed a protocol for source tracking in newsrooms that meets this goal by educating journalists on data collection during interviews, creating easy-to-use data management systems, and collaborating with newsroom leadership to determine and measure their objectives.