The Daily News of Newburyport published my letter to the editor today that I sent over the weekend.
I thank the staff for allowing me a voice, but as you can see from that link, the content is bunched into large paragraphs that are not easy to read, and hyperlinks are not used.
Here is how I submitted the letter by e-mail, with the headline, “Daily News: Embrace your community:”
Thank you for enabling readers like me to engage with you online. It’s refreshing to visit a random page on newburyportnews.com, read content from a reporter, and scroll down to read comments from the community.
But, how come reporters don’t interact with people commenting on their stories?
The web of 2008 is not the web of five years ago. It is constantly changing.
Today’s web is social: blogs, wikis, audio and video, social networking. Unlike the static content of the past, today’s web is built around the idea of a community. Anyone can say what they want and anyone else can join the conversation.
On October 8, 2007, Daily News reporter Stephen Tait wrote about Newburyport’s bloggers, as if it was some new phenomenon to talk about the city on the web.
Is it any surprise that a Google search for ‘Newburyport’ yields 3.6 million results?
How about 90 groups on Facebook with Newburyport in the group name, 405 videos on YouTube tagged in the title or description as ‘Newburyport,’ 7,280 people and groups on MySpace who associate themselves with Newburyport, and 28 Twitter users who call Newburyport home?
I am an online journalist and there are many others like me: Tom Salemi, Gillian Swart, Mary Baker Eaton, Michelle Xiarhos Curran, Jennifer Karin, Peter McClelland, Alex Hasapis, Kelly Ann Captain Mauro DeBacco, city councilor Ed Cameron, and a random person calling him or herself Mr. X. I’m sure I’m missing a couple dozen.
I recognize the web is new territory for you. You don’t have to jump in alone. Will you turn to your online community?
Interact with us and I guarantee we’ll make it worthwhile.
Doesn’t this read easier, with content in more chunks and relevant hyperlinks, such as last October’s story? What do you think about the general tone?
Is your newspaper online and do they allow community comments? Do your news reporters engage with the commenters?