News is a conversation, redux

News is a conversation, redux
: Ken Sands, blogging master of the Spokesman-Review, sends me a great story of news as a conversation — before the news is published. Here’s a case of an editor consulting his audience and asking them what he should do before he does it. Chris Cobler, editor of the Greeley Tribune, writes Ken:

I thought you’d be interested to know we used our e-board and my editor’s blog to survey readers before deciding whether to publish the latest disturbing images from Iraq. I sent a query to the 565 members of our e-board shortly after 2 p.m. today. By tonight, we have received more than two dozen e-mail responses and a half-dozen more comments posted to my blog. In the mall e-mail we sent, I referred readers to my

blog at to see the three photos distributed by AP.

After listening to our readers, we decided to publish the photo of the human pyramid on an inside page with the jump from a front-page story. With the A1 story, we published an advisory warning readers of the disturbing nature of the image inside and also referred them to my blog for more discussion of the images….

We have benefited greatly from this new conversation with our readers.

Now that is respecting your audience. Better, it’s looking upon the audience as the editors. Good work.