This is a comment thread from a recent Windy Citizen link. Windy Citizen, for the uninitiated is a Chicago-centric site similar to Digg or Reddit, but, as the name suggests, only for content relating to Chicago.
What do we see happening here? First of all, we see a local reporter post her story to the local news aggregator. This part is already very exciting since not many reporters do this.
We then see a Windy Citizen user ask a question about the story. This is not at all unusual. Readers ask reporters questions all the time, whether it’s via phone, e-mail, social media channels or a comment on their story on a newspaper’s website.
The last part of this story is the best one. We see the reporter who posted the link actually answer the reader’s question! It is this part that we don’t see happening very often.
What is the end result of this type of interaction not happening as much as it should? There are many answers to that, but to pick one out of the air, it leads to people distrusting the media. There have more and more statistics coming out about this. Some (http://www.freepress.net/) are working to change it. But the damage has in many cases been done. Here’s just one example (read the comments): http://biggovernment.com/publius/2010/04/27/tuesday-open-thread-dead-tree-edi…
By the way, Tracy is a local reporter for RedEye, the Chicago Tribune’s free daily tabloid edition. Find her on Windy Citizen: http://www.windycitizen.com/tracyswartz, on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tracyswartz or on her blog: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/going-public/ I doubt that she is any less busy than many of her colleagues in the print world. Yet she finds the time to answer her readers’ questions. How many others do the same?