NYT Contribute to Our Reporting

How can we hear from a larger number and variety of people than our boots on the ground reporting ´┐╝allows? Reader contributions added to our existing coverage and led us to new lines of reporting.

I worked with the business and science/health desks to figure out ways we could better cover the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). This new law had the potential to affect everyone in the country, but we were able to narrow it down a bit by focusing on three groups in particular: patients, health care providers, and employers.

I created a series of callouts - custom forms that led the reader through different questions depending on how they answered the previous ones. We were able to hear from a larger number and variety of people by combining these callouts with our boots on the ground reporting.

The readers didn't only contribute to our existing or known stories, they also led us to new ones. This kind of journalism, where the news is more of a conversation instead of a broadcast, was relatively new at the time but has continued both at the NYT and across the industry in coverage including but definitely not limited to the ACA in America.