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Readers to shape local news

Many local newspaper publishers are looking to see more of their content generated by readers as they plan their strategies for the future.

Ian Mean, the new editor of the Western Daily Press, has indicated that readers will become more involved in content generation.

He said: “We intend to harness the ideas and writing power of those readers to help to create content which will make the newspaper and its website a must read every day”.

Other publishers are taking a similar approach, but it remains to be seen exactly how reader-generated content will be sourced and controlled.

Critics will argue that the move will create a legal minefield for newspapers, but others may see it as an opportunity for better community engagement.

Is quality journalism at threat or can the skills and knowledge of journalists and readers be combined to create a better overall product?

We’ll be watching this one closely as publishers start putting their strategies into practice – a greater emphasis on reader-generated content could open up new opportunities for public relations experts in setting the news agenda.

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