Dan Gillmor: Where Newspapers Can Start the Conversation

Dan Gillmor

First, I gave them my standard schtick on how journalism is shifting from the lecture mode to something between a conversation and a seminar. Then I got to the recommendations, which went roughly this way:
[…] In other words, turn the printed page into a guide to and „greatest hits“ from the community conversation.

See also Toward a new covenant with the audience

There’s no question in my mind that the relationship between journalism and the audience is in trouble. The mess at CBS, the continuing decline of readership of daily newspapers, the glee of the blogosphere in twitting mainstream media are all just data points in that big picture.

[…] There are many ways to approach the topic, and we thrashed around a bit before deciding to tackle this breakdown in the relationship between journalism and the audience. The following „first draft“ of a promissory offer emerged.

Dear [reader]

We promise, with your help
To listen to what you have to say.
To help you have a voice.
To give you tools so you can control our relationship.
To be open about how we gather and produce the news.
To deliver news on any platform you want it.
To respect your time.
To be relentlessly useful.
To be relentlessly creative.
To be a good citizen and help you be a better one.
To facilitate your efforts to find relevant news and information. Even when we can’t provide it, we’ll help you find it.
To never abuse your personal information.
To help nurture community discussion.
To be a catalyst for social agendas.
To be constructively involved in shaping the public dialogue.
To revisit these promises and to keep evolving.
Love, [We, the media]

See also (Update 4.3.2005):
What about journalism should last, what should die?

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