New project, CuriousCT, will let readers direct some news coverage

After weeks of legwork and months of discussion, The Day has launched CuriousCT, a project intended to make it easier for you, the readers, to direct some of our news coverage.

We’re launching CuriousCT in partnership with Hearken, a company that “helps news organizations listen to the public as a story develops from pitch to publication.”

It works like this: Using a form that can be found at www.theday.com/curiousct, you’ll tell us what you want to know about the people, places or issues of southeastern Connecticut.

You can ask about who’s making the most money in your police department, or where legislators are traveling for work. But you also can ask how a local tradition or rivalry came to be, or whether dogs outnumber children in your town.

The possibilities are endless.

After each submission period, we'll select a few questions and kick it back to you, the readers, to vote on which story you want us to cover.

Once a winner is selected, we'll ask the question-submitter whether he or she wants to be part of the reporting process. That could entail sitting in on an interview, learning how a reporter prepares beforehand or even going into the field, depending on the story.

Then we'll report what we learn in an article, podcast, video or a combination.

Once we get rolling, we hope to publish a CuriousCT-powered story at least twice a month.

As journalists, we work for the public, whether by delivering up-to-date news or exposing corruption. But, while we do our best to cultivate sources in our beats, sometimes we miss stories that matter to you.

We began discussing Hearken months ago — and obtained a $4,250 grant from the Community Listening and Engagement Fund, part of The Lenfest Institute, to help fund it — because we want to fill that hole.

Results from many of the more than 100 organizations that use Hearken are good: Newsrooms are writing more relevant stories; reporters are learning where they were missing the mark.

We see value in involving you in our reporting process. We hope you’ll see that value, too.

Follow our Twitter handle, @thecuriousct, for updates on how the project is going.

l.boyle@theday.com

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