Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what audiences want from online news

A new study on news credibility, jointly sponsored by the Associated Press and the University of Missouri, finds newspaper editors and public audiences on opposite sides when it comes to including the opinions of readers and journalists in online news stories. From AP's own coverage:
Some 70 percent of editors surveyed said requiring commenters to disclose their identities would support good journalism, while only 45 percent of the public did. Similarly, 58 percent of editors said letting journalists join online conversations and give personal views would harm journalism, but only 36 percent of the public agreed..."Many of us have come to recognize that the age of `We report it, and you read it and view it' is over," said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning and NewsU at the Poynter Institute, a Florida think tank on journalism. "The audience has demanded much more."
The problem? What "more" means is still up in the air. We're struck by how the newspaper editors' views mimic those of many organizations resistant to opening up their avenues of communication to public comments. There's a parallel to what we see with live audiences wanting more chances to interact with the speaker, we think. Where do you fall in this spectrum?

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