Reporting and Reader Engagement, Again

I was perusing the Public Editor page on the New York Times today, wondering what exactly it means to be the “readers’ representative.” While I was noodling on this question, this piece on “The Promise of Real-Time Reporting,” caught my eye. I jumped into journalism via the magazine (monthly, print) world and now work at a seven-site blog network that never sleeps (literally — you can log on to our system at 11pm or 2pm or 4am and there’s always someone working). I wrestled a little with the constraints of the “need for speed” approach to writing, but have come to appreciate some of the perks. In particular, I thought this bit was interesting:

“When the reporting process plays out in public, that’s a good thing. Readers can and do participate. Their participation has a salutary effect on quality — millions of amateur editors catch a lot that a few professional ones miss. And the process of constant checks on the unfolding story produce incentives to keep pushing.”

Isn’t that what I was just saying about Spot.Us?

I think the same thing holds true for blogging. As Om is often reminding us, good blog posts are short because the story is always unfolding. You build your argument over time, not just over the course of a single story.

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