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Blog Aims to Create News Community

Very early this morning I filed a post on how the Atlanta Journal-Constitution failed to see the potential of reaching out to its stakeholders and working with their collective intelligence. Now I see USA Today gets it, here read this from its blog:’s aim is to create a community around the news, one that connects readers to reporting. In its 25 years as “The Nation’s Newspaper,” USA TODAY has always tried to listen to a variety of readers and understand what’s important to them. As the next logical step, we’re building the nation’s newspaper into the nation’s conversation.

Here is more:

For starters, you’re able to write a comment on every story on the new site. But there’s more. Once you become a member of (it’s free), you get a profile page. If you’ve already joined, and many of you have, you can start working on your profile this weekend. You’re welcome to leave it empty, but you can fill it up with information about yourself, upload your photos, start an entire blog and begin to explore the rest of the community. Whenever you see a comment on the new site, you can click on the commenter’s name, find out what they’ve told the world about themselves, make them your friends, leave them public messages and see where they’ve left comments. The conversation is fair and responsible that way. Instead of trying to be a social networking site, we want to keep the personalities and conversation open in a way that focuses on the news. After all, news and information are the reasons we’re here.

They have even picked up Jeff Jarvis’ network journalism concept:

And we’re here, too — editors and reporters. You’re going to see USA TODAY journalists around the site: creating profiles, joining you in conversation, asking you for your thoughts and experiences around different stories, and looking to create connections that help build better journalism. There’s a concept here called “network journalism” — the idea that reporting can drive readers and readers can drive reporting.

It is a must read because USA Today and Gannett understand change must be made, and if you read this blog today, you begin to see the potential of forming commmunity.

Thanks to the Editors Weblog for the tip.

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