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Examples of the Citizen and civic journalism nexus

Steve Outing, in an Editor & Publisher piece entitled Modernizing the Editorial Page, gives us great examples at the Dallas Morning News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer of where citizen journalism fulfills the civic journalism mission. His examples play into our continuing discussion about the intersection of civic and citizen journalism.

Here is part of what is happening at the Post-Intelligencer:

… a note is posted to the P-I’s Web site announcing what the editorial writers will tackle and write about in tomorrow’s paper (and this evening’s Web site).

The idea here is to tip off readers who may care about a selected topic to write in with their thoughts — before the newspaper’s editorial is published. Readers post comments to the day’s Virtual Editorial Board page, and editorial writers review those while they’re writing for the next day.

And then this:

At the Dallas Morning News, an editorial-board blog is published during the daily meeting, not immediately after it. Sometimes during those meetings, the staff solicits reader ideas while ideas for the next day’s editorials are still being discussed. The quick responders’ input is factored into the discussions and in some cases influences the end product — the next day’s editorial.

Outing adds:

The course that editorial pages are headed on will require that editors listen to the voices of the public like never before.

the one “institutional voice” of the newspaper will become less important; it will be replaced in the years ahead with multiple editorial voices. Perhaps a decade from now, he suggests, the institutional voice will completely fade away. The lecture will be replaced by the enlightened conversation about important community issues.

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