Once each weekday, a slight variation on the “outside the box” principle goes out to all of Morning’s reporters around the world. The reporters are asked to pick a topic they’re curious about and spend a day getting to know it. While doing this, they are also planning to ask someone with a similar background, experience, or skill set to do the same. “This will make you work smarter and create a layer of culture where each person is contributing at their level to making the news interesting,” the Morning team writes on their Kickstarter page. “Working in an environment where we are all aiming for the same goals is the best way to maximize each person’s contributions while ensuring that what we all produce is relevant, sharable, and valuable.”
This show of solidarity is more than just a nice gesture. It leads to a more important idea: the benefits of bringing together all levels of expertise and experience at work. “How do you bring people together who are normally at different ends of the spectrum? By getting them to talk about things they care about and are curious about,” the Kickstarter page adds. “This will keep everyone engaged throughout the day and come up with lots of news ideas.”
It can work. In 2015, Marie Arana — the Latin American editor-at-large for The New York Times — asked David Wulf, the author of The Neoliberal War on Medical Care, to do the same thing. Together, they hit a bit of a wall, but they found some common ground. “How long do you think it would take for a senior journalist and a PhD surgeon to meet?” Wulf wondered out loud. “Hard to say.”
“What if I suggested they do a quick survey and then test it on an exact one week post-op period?” he said. In a couple of weeks, they reached agreement on a plan: they could talk to each other to help mediate clashing opinions about their respective newsworthy subjects.
Published details from the meeting and their deliberations can be found on their Times blog.
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