Public radio station KALW has launched a crowdsourced journalism program. In “Hey Area,” producers take questions about the Bay Area that can be submitted by curious listeners here. Questions will be posted and voted on, and the most popular questions will be reported on.
“If you want to know why all the stoplights face the wrong way on Fell Street, or how a certain part of city government works — or why anything in your area is the way it is, you can head to our website and there will be a straightforward tool where you can submit your question,” producer Audrey Dilling explains in a program explaining the new feature.
Listeners whose questions are chosen can also help KALW find the answer if they choose to. The program is part of an effort to change the way journalists do their reporting. Inspired by a similar project at WBEZ in Chicago, “Hey Area” is designed to help break down barriers between the newsroom and the public and get at the questions that might not be terribly newsworthy but people still care about.
So, Mission: If you are wondering about a quirk on your block or a detail that catches your eye every day on your way to work, here’s your chance to have it investigated in radio form!