We've complained in the past about how rare it is for reporters at newspapers to actually engage in comments
on their articles. Instead, they seem to view the comments with disdain
, pointing out how idiotic many comments are. Well, of course that's what happens when the folks at the actual newspaper ignore them. So, while it's nice to see a newspaper like the Cleveland Plain Dealer (whose writers have been advocating
for changing copyright law to protect newspaper business models) finally realize that its reporters need to engage in comments
in order to foster more of a useful community in those comments, it's really quite stunning that it's taken this long for newspapers to figure it out -- and
that such a "revelation" requires a special announcement from the newspaper itself.
We're joining the online conversation. For too long, we at The Plain Dealer posted stories on cleveland.com and then turned away to focus on the next day's news. Now, we're encouraging our reporters and editors to pay attention to what you're saying, to answer your questions and respond to your complaints.
A newspapers' true asset is the community it serves. Too many in the newspaper business have been neglecting that community. It's great that this particular newspaper seems to have finally figured it out, though it's amazing that it took this long and is such a big change in focus that it requires an announcement.