How journalists can improve their storytelling by embracing design thinking – Empathy

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1. Empathize

“Journalists naturally need to be empathetic,” Leticia Britos Cavagnaro told Poynter via Skype. Britos Cavagnaro, adjunct faculty at Stanford School of Engineering’s Technology Ventures Program and associate director of National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), co-teaches the’s creativity and innovation class with Tina Seelig. Most people come to a “story with an idea, a perspective or a hypothesis,” she said; being empathetic means having the “ability to talk to someone and really let go of those preconceptions.”


The goal of empathy is to gain insight or “put myself in the shoes of the other person or the many different stakeholders,” Britos Cavagnaro said. Use empathy by asking open-ended questions and actively listening to uncover people’s needs and motivations. Asking “Why?” often is effective.


by Anna Li