Al Thompkins of Poynter Online today interviewed Editor Steve Smith about our experiment on Webcasting the News Huddle. He launched the interview with the question: Why are you doing this? Here's Smith's response:
Steve Smith: "It's an experiment. The late James Carey once bemoaned the reluctance of newspapers to experiment, by definition an exercise in which the outcome is uncertain. Editors tend to want certain outcomes before they take a step. We have built a pretty substantial infrastructure around our "transparent newsroom" initiative, an effort to engage our readers in conversations about news, the editorial decision-making processes and so on. Our experience is that readers value the interaction, love to participate and often provide information and feedback that informs our journalism and gives it focus. But, as journalists, we always retain the right and ability to set our own agenda, to say "no" to ideas that won't work for us. We remain independent, that independence in no way compromised by reader engagement."