Challenge: How can we create a meaningful system to better measure the journalistic impact of news organizations in the digital age?
Alina Fichter has immersed herself in Stanford’s famous d.school — officially the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. In team-based classes there, she has applied human-centered design to build, test and reshape a prototype that prevents people from texting and driving, to create a movie and to keep innovative projects moving forward by alternating from an abstract to a concrete approach and vice versa. With that experience as a basis, she has started coaching and teaching design-thinking to others and is applying a human-centered design approach to her journalism challenge project. She is focused on surfacing and understanding the (hidden) needs of newsrooms that are eager to measure their journalistic impact in society. The findings will enable her to systematize and prioritize different definitions of impact in customized taxonomies. She is most passionate about a human-centered definition of impact: What do audiences really value in journalism?
Alina Fichter most recently worked as a distribution manager for Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) which forms part of ARD, the main Public Service Broadcaster in Germany with a yearly budget of 7 billion Dollars. She was responsible for developing and implementing distribution strategies for video content. She previously was a media and tech reporter at DIE ZEIT, a German weekly national newspaper and a business editor at Süddeutsche Zeitung, a daily national newspaper. Fichter’s interest in journalism was piqued by her experiences as a high school exchange student in Honduras. She studied economics in Cologne and Paris and went to one of the best journalism schools in Germany. Before beginning college, Fichter spent a year volunteering in Latin America, mostly in a hospital for impoverished AIDS patients, as well as traveling through several countries. When she’s not working on story ideas or new strategies for delivering news, Fichter likes to hike, bike and dance.