THE CONCEPT PROTOTYPES
Based on the issues they identified, the News Changemakers created six speculative product concepts. We encourage you to reflect on what they might mean for your newsroom or product as you explore them below!
What if the news...
Negative impact on our mental health
The Changemakers perceive the news as dominated by negative events like shootings, wars and political uncertainty. In addition, they feel like the reports about these events are often prejudiced against minorities and the outer city areas. This makes them feel angry, sad, and worried about the future consequences for themselves, friends and family.
The News Clinic
"The News Clinic" puts mental health first by reimagining the responsibilities of news organisations.
The core of the News Clinic is an on-demand, AI-driven news therapist providing users with the opportunity to ventilate any emotions related to the news they just consumed.
Users can select key features and traits of their personal therapist, such as the appearance and tone of voice of the avatar.
The therapist can be activated manually by users logging onto the service, or automatically whenever the user expresses physical signs of distress. Are you starting to look angry? Is your temperature increasing? Are you holding the phone with a more firm grip? The system will alert you and ask if you’d like to ventilate any emotions.
"It's Time" takes a different approach to minimizing mental health issues connected to news consumption. In this age of endless digital information flows, we need to limit our news diet to be able to actually process what we consume.
The service provides consumers with a personalized daily news feed and a “news budget” of 7 hours/week, with maximum 1 hour spent/day.
Users do not have to use their full budget, but will be alerted if/when they have consumed content for more than 30 minutes – the maximum amount of time anyone should spend on news consumption in one go according to the Changemakers.
A New Sound
“A New Sound” is an informative and fun news experience that lets users combine their news and music intake.
Integrated in mainstream news sites, A New Sound is a feature that enables users to transform written texts into music. Users can search for genres, artists, tempo, or even a specific song that they want the news to be based on, and AI-technology then enables a personally relevant experience of news-as-music.
Unappealing media formats
The News Changemakers’ experience is that most news products today consists of boring, long texts written in hard-to-understand language.
They want a different kind of media to make news experiences more engaging.
Repetitive news experience
The Changemakers perceive the news as highly repetitive, with the same (often negative) story being posted again and again.
By turning on the "Surprise Me!"-feature, a personalization algorithm optimized for surprising consumers is activated. Content that is positive and completely new to the user is integrated into the news experience, and pinned at the top and bottom of the feed so that users always enter and leave a news experience with a positive mindset.
Surprise Me! offers a new type of personalization that aims to add joy and serendipity to the act of consuming news.
We Are Here
"We Are Here" is a distributed content verification system that puts local citizens’ lived realities first. The system reimagines the journalistic content creation process by treating residents in an area not as mere consumers of news about it, but as co-producers in verifying and enriching it with multiple perspectives.
A virtual identity platform lets people register as Verifiers for specific areas or topics of expertise. It can be a combination of experts (e.g. researchers and specialists), local residents and other people who have relevant perspectives on the news.
Verifiers can write their opinions in any language that is then converted into Swedish, so that everyone can participate – regardless of their language skills.
The verifications will not affect what the journalists are allowed to produce, but indicate to the consumer what people with relevant connections to the news in question think of it. News consumers should clearly see which news articles are verified.
The News Changemakers feel like instead of helping people understand different perspectives, the news only provides them with one side of a story.
This is particularly clear when it comes to news about non-western immigrants, religion, and the outer city areas in Sweden.
They feel like this way of reporting is creating an “us against them”-mentality in society, which makes majority groups sceptic of people with diverse backgrounds.
Point of Views
"Point of Views" is a VR experience enabling users to be fully immersed in news stories.
Through the POV News Glasses, users can choose to put on different perspectives to gain a better understanding of how different people, societies and countries are impacted by different news events. If a user does not choose a perspective, they will experience the news as a spectator – like today.
The VR experience activates both sight and hearing. When the user is not using the glasses, they work like normal sunglasses.
Since certain events can be sensitive for users to experience, there is an age limit to experience certain types of events through the glasses.