If the media is a mirror, then what does it reflect?
I have always believed that if readers could be flies on the newsroom wall, most would come away with a higher opinion of journalism. They would see we talk about ethics, fairness and the best way to alert and inform readers of the news they need and want.
At the same time, I’d like to see greater dialogue between readers and journalists on why we do what we do and how we do it. Communication is always a two-way street, and understanding their perceptions can only make us more effective communicators.
There’s been a lot of discussion recently, for example, of readers unliking us on occasion for certain coverage decisions. That should never be an excuse for not covering the news, but it is a real challenge to do a better job reaching across ideological and cultural lines.
YDR Insider, I believe, is the place to foster that dialogue, to discuss the important issues inside journalism, to answer reader questions and explore ways to make us all better citizens and more effective communicators.
I see the whole staff as having a role, but am offering to be point person on this effort — maintaining and contributing to the blog and encouraging wider staff participation. I look forward to discussing this further, if you like, and answering any questions you might have.