Blogs > Tell the Editor

A conversation between readers and the editor of The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We're all in the new world of news together, for the better

Better than any I've seen before, the video below displays how the relentless power of the tsunami in Japan simply washed away communities. But it also demonstrates the power of the Internet and social media which are sweeping away the old ways of reporting and consuming news. More on that, and what it means in Lorain follow the video ....

The old one-way communication from the "reporter" to the "reader" has been replaced in today's new news ecology by a two-way collaboration. Reader and reporter together enable one another to inform the whole community, and be informed, in better and deeper ways than possible before.

A person atop a building in Japan shot the video above and it went up on YouTube. A friend of mine put a link to it on Facebook where I saw it and reposted it on The Morning Journal's Facebook page and Twitter to share with readers.

So, my friend, a reader of  The Morning Journal's coverage, provided information that enabled me to report the video he had found about the tsunami and share it with The Morning Journal's wider audience.

The same kind of reader-reporter engagement and collaboration can produce better local news coverage as well. That's exactly what happened in a big way last July 4 when we published a special Ben Franklin Project edition of The Morning Journal and We used reader-generated story information and publishing tools freely available on the Internet. That project included all 18 daily newspapers in our parent firm, Journal Register Company, where the boss, John Paton, is leading our transformation from newspaper company to a groundbreaking digital-first news and information provider on the web with video, in social media and in print.

The Ben Franklin Project edition was a demonstration project, but we're regularly using the same kinds of crowdsourcing techniques in gathering information, publishing reader-generated photos and video and putting the reader at the center of everything we do.

.Another way we are engaging with the community is by giving voice to local bloggers who report and analyze all kinds of topics in our Community Media Lab. We help them get a blog started if they don't already have one, and we provide training and advice as necessary.

If you have ideas you'd like to share on how we can engage readers and collaborate in new and better ways, contact me at

Also contact me if you would like to join our growing Community Media Lab.

Or, if you think we're going down the wrong path and have a better way to suggest, please let me know as well by email.

Let's join in transforming The Morning Journal and into your top digital-first source of local news and information. With your participation, we can shape a new and successful future for local news.


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