April 28, 2020

This was the year Outride.rs was supposed to launch a membership program and campaign. Instead, the Polish-based journalism organization has shifted to an open-source project aimed at collecting solutions and responses to the coronavirus pandemic around the world.

“At Outride.rs we cover global issues which have local impact — and there never was a bigger challenge than COVID-19 to show how something originating far away can influence our daily lives,” said Jakub Górnicki, Outriders co-founder, in an email with Poynter. “At the same time — we don’t do news. So we asked ourselves what we want to give our audience? And then we asked our community. And the answer is — sense of hope, ideas, solutions — something which will help them get through today and prepare for tomorrow.”

The new project, launched today, is called Radar, and it’s meant to be an open marketplace to collect ideas and solutions to the many problems caused by COVID-19. And many of those responses and solutions can best be found in the work of journalists at the local level.

“Local journalists understand their communities better as they are better positioned to notice concrete needs,” Górnicki said. “On a national level, one deals with the economy as a whole — in a city with dozens of struggling restaurants or a factory which needs to find a new product. That creates an opportunity to find a response which may be replicated by this community. This is why we think that with the growing number of responses in Radar we will see impact on a local level first.”

Radar is free to use, and Górnicki hopes it will also be a resource for journalists to build out stories of their own. You can see Radar here.

Kristen Hare covers the transformation of local news for Poynter.org and writes a weekly newsletter on the transformation of local news. You can subscribe here. Kristen can be reached at khare@poynter.org or on Twitter at @kristenhare.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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