While there are plenty of lessons from the Press Herald Apology (or “Apologygate if you’re looking for a hashtag), one that stuck out to me is what exactly is the role of reader comments in the editorial process?
One of my complaints about the whole affair is that by issuing an apology, particularly to all those voicing their anger over Facebook, Twitter, email and online comments, the Press Herald had “cede(ed) editorial control to the crowd.”
But how should newspapers use reader comments when it comes to making decisions on coverage, story placement or even the reporting process?
(For the moment let’s set aside the other debates on comments, meaning we won’t talk about whether they’re worthwhile or how to improve them. Though former Press Herald colleague Carl Natale has a good idea on how to try and make them civil`.)
The easiest answer is tips and story ideas, as evidenced by this blog post. In the previous post on L’Affair de Press Herald, a commenter said something that stuck in my head:
“And I disagree with you, in that in our web 2.0 world with all of its new interactions between big institutions and their constituents, in a world of declining circulation, and in a world of crowdsourcing, that all newspapers are missing the boat here by retaining 100% control over what stories are reported.”
(Thanks to the commenter who wrote that…but next time think about leaving your name for credit! Also, can we not use the phrase Web 2.0? Please?)
Why The Meat Raffle?
Because a good name is half the battle, right? Would you read this blog if I called it “half-baked stories from a Midwestern transplant in the New England.” Actually that’s not bad.
Meat Raffles are fun and surprising, a pastime that brings people together in a simple, familiar way. But they’re also a little weird, right? (You WIN! Here’s some brisket!) Also, in Minnesota it’s not uncommon for groups to throw together a meat raffle to raise a little money or awareness for something.
I’m not a VFW (and I don’t need your money…yet), but I thought it was time to raise a little awareness of my writing since I call myself a writer. And some of the best advice I ever got from an editor is to write every day, no matter what the subject.
Also, it’s a scientific fact that meat raffles are more fun with a few beers in you. So crack a few before you read here. Trust me, it’ll go down smoother.
OK, so how do Meat Raffles work?
You buy a ticket, the wheel is spun and if your number is called you’re going home with a very lucky slab of raw meat. That simple.
Right, so what’s this blog about?
Are you familiar with the term Polymath? No? Oh you poor thing, have a cookie. A Polymath is someone who is knowledgable on a great many things in this universe! String theory! Nano Technology! Animal Husbandry! Impressionist art! Excessive use of exclamation points!
Yeah I’m not that guy. I know about the finer points of cake baking, the history of Yacht Rock music, the weaknesses of Green Lantern’s power ring and the correct proportions for a tasty manhattan.
But I’m also a trained (I swear) journalist curious about many things related to pop culture, news, technology and cuisine. Also sports. Did I mention I like sports?
Which is to say this blog is about all of the above. Keep reading.
I feel you’re not taking me seriously.
Maybe if you weren’t wearing that stupid hat.