Britain’s Guardian is bringing the public deeper into its news-gathering operations than perhaps any major newspaper in history. The liberal broadsheet (where I worked in the early 2000s) announced that the public will get “carefully” selective, limited access to its “newslist” as a way to boost public input in the direction and nature of the news. The newslist, in Brit-journo speak, is the normally confidential roster of stories reporters are working on a given day. National Editor Dan Roberts writes,
The idea of giving this information away before publication might therefore seem to be putting digital dogma before common sense. Just because the internet theoretically allows journalists to give readers a peek behind the curtain by sharing the list with them does not make it a good idea.
We suspect otherwise though at the Guardian. What if readers were able to help newsdesks work out which stories were worth investing precious reporting resources in? What if all those experts who delight in telling us what’s wrong with our stories after they’ve been published could be enlisted into giving us more clues beforehand? What if the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself?
It’s very brave move indeed. It flies quite wonderfully in the face of the whole idea of the competitive “scoop.” You can see the experiment here — live and as-it-happens.