The Atlantic opens newsroom to readers

by Nicole Martinelli
Oct 30, 2018 in Miscellaneous

The Atlantic is opening up its newsroom to readers for a day.

Instead of just chatting with each other about the issues of the day, writers and editors are opening up the process to readers.

In a project called Open Wire, readers are invited to submit comments on the day's news. Suggestions include angles on the ongoing Dominique Strauss-Kahn IMF scandal (Sarkozy's warning to Strauss-Kahn in 2007 to “behave himself” and inside the Riker's jail VIP section) and ongoing protests in Spain.

“As with many web news operations, The Atlantic Wire is mostly edited via terse messages in a group chat room,” says editor Gabriel Snyder. “Editors and writers spend the day logged onto Campfire pitching story ideas, exchanging links and keeping everyone up to date on the news of the day. So we had a thought: why not move that out into the open and let anyone who wants to take part?”

The casual reader devoid of story ideas can also peruse the conversations between editors and reporters on what's worth covering (Kuwatis imprisoned at Guantanamo) and what's not (diplomats and parking tickets.)

This is the latest foray into engaging readers for better content – from user-contributed content to online correction systems. It's an interesting idea, since readers are both the audience for the stories and often provide stories too, though the nested comments used in the experiment make it a little hard to follow.

Should newsrooms be more or less interactive?