Throughout my time at The 19th, I have worked alongside the product and technology teams to develop my skills. The product team creates ways for people to experience and support The 19th’s journalism. We work daily at the intersections of audience, brand and product design, marketing, membership and product management. Knowing who our journalism is reaching and ensuring our products align with our mission, their needs, and our business goals and capacity are most important.
My background in strategy and marketing gave me a foundational understanding of the design thinking process, a problem-solving framework that focuses on human-centered needs.
For example, I worked on three design thinking cycles this year, including interviews with active audience members who did our annual survey as well as newsletter subscribers.
In one cycle, we looked at refreshing membership benefits based on subscriber interviews and in another cycle, we looked at engaging and converting Instagram followers into subscribers to one of our newsletters. We analyzed interviews, defined what we thought the issues were and considered solutions.
Over the past several months, I also looked at existing data, such as survey results, audience interview notes and feedback to hone in on the idea to create a safe community where The 19th’s engaged audience can connect with 19th staff.
It’s my hope that it will foster a two-way conversation between reporters and our audience, and allow us to incorporate their insights into our reporting.
I’m excited to see whether or not these observations prove or disprove my hypothesis that our audience wants to connect more deeply with staff reporting on issues that matter to them, especially on social media platforms, which can be unsafe in many ways.
The teams at The 19th have been so intentional in helping me shape my professional journey and sharing their experiences and expertise along the way. Managers also work hard to ensure that The 19th is a safe learning environment for everyone.
My fellowship has been an affirming experience and I am proud that this experience has allowed me to develop new skills to accomplish the goals I set for myself and, most importantly, my confidence as a professional in product.