Earlier this week, I wrote about what some French newspapers are doing with blogs, commenting on Le Monde, Libération and Le Figaro.
In the case of Le Monde, they have reader blogs where readers of the paper can blog about news stories they'd like to see covered. Libération has three journalists' blogs providing readers with a means to engage in conversation with those journalists.
Today I saw another great example of such transparency over in the US.
Every morning at 9 a.m., the editors of the Ventura County Star get together to talk about what is going to be in tomorrow's newspaper. At the end of that meeting, tentative plans are made about what stories, photos and graphics will go on Page One. Of course, news happens during the day; and news doesn't happen (stories will fall through). The Page One decisions are finalized at 3 o'clock every afternoon, subject to change before the presses roll. Here's your chance to sit in on those discussions as we look at the stories that are being discussed to run in tomorrow's paper. So pull up a chair and let us know if you agree or disagree with our choices.
You contribute your views by leaving comments to the blog posts.
But the Ventura County Star doesn't stop here. They offer a blog hosting service to readers, a photo blog service (through Buzznet), webcams, and more. The latest - podcasts. Well, the paper calls them that, but there's no RSS distribution, just downloadable MP3 files and a streaming audio option. But with everything else going on, that sounds like unnecessary quibbling!
Here's a newspaper who has taken a leap, not a step, in embracing the true meaning of the phrase 'participatory communication' to develop a total engagement environment with its readership.