The 11th principle

Washington Post editor Len Downie issues a set of 10 web principles and they’re good — as far as they go. They summarize:

These principles emphasize our commitment on the Web to around-the-clock breaking news, scoops and original Washington Post added-value journalism, in addition to multimedia and interactivity. They embody the same standards and values for our journalism on the Web as the printed newspaper. And they commit us to flexibility and change in newsroom structure and forms of journalism to adapt to the rhythms and opportunities of the Web.

To me, they leave out a vital 11th principle: They should be committed to working in new and collaborative ways with the people formerly known as readers. They should be recasting their relationship — and institution’s and each journalist’s relationship — with the community.

These principles still show that the paper thinks it is at the center. It’s all about how they operate as an institution. They need to break down their walls and recast their role in the world around them.