Thinking about a Design System for Responsible Publishing

Written by Lee Catherine, University of Mississippi

Rishad Patel speaking about the importance of designing with responsibility in mind.

Rishad Patel from The Splice Newsroom filled our minds with the possibilities of an innovative, responsible framework for news that is still in the early stages.

This idea stemmed from Patel’s desire to create something – a framework, system, maybe a manifesto? No. Patel refers to his big idea more broadly as a thing.

Patel asked himself and the audience, “Why isn’t there a better way to help people interact with digital media?”

Patel stressed the importance of valuing responsibility as a pathway to trust – something integral to designing for news.

He mentioned Red Dead Redemption 2, a video game where players make choices hoping to increase their honor level. Patel ponders whether incentivizing an honor system would work or not.

Patel also mentioned Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, as an example of this responsible framework in reference to her actions after the Christchurch mosque shooting. He explained the importance of reporting with responsibility on hard topics like suicide and cancer – hard subjects that are still part of life.

Patel recognized that the best practices and frameworks vary contextually, from place to place and situation to situation. He explained that many steps and phases of research are still to be done, but that he hopes for a future in which a framework of responsibility can be integrated in newsrooms and classrooms. He also mentions Splice Beta, a media festival in Chiang Mai from May 1-3.

For more on the sessions that are taking place at #SNDChicago, visit our Twitter (@snd) and Instagram (@societyfornewsdesign) for live updates throughout the event.

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