Saturday, February 11, 2006

one way to work with personal equations

I'm looking for the longer reference, but as I've been reminded a few times by co-conspirator nightgrapefruit, i've been away too long.

David Nord, who has done a lot of writing about how citizens here in the U.S. engage with the press, has suggested one way print journalism could work to counter both pseudo-objectivity and the tendency most of us have to read only stuff we already agree with.

As most ideas approaching or inhabiting brilliance tend to be, it's a pretty simple idea.

Place opinion pieces, commentary, letters to the editor, and news pieces about a given topic - from various writers of various positions - all on the same page or pages in the paper. It's convenient for your reader- now she can find multiple related bits about Iran or post-Katrina events or how the Bush administration is hounding Goddard Institute head James Hansen on the same page. And it challenges your reader - now she has to read multiple points of view (at least in the form of scanning headlines and ledes). And because op-ed bits are included, it also has the paper setting an example of how to have - gasp - a civil, articulate debate in a public forum.

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