New social media experiment of “Guardian”


The popular British newspaper “The Guardian” has already shown in the past, that it pays to be open for online innovation and social media activities in the network (see also: When Newspaper Enthusiasts Become Investigative Journalists ). Now, the newspaper surprises with a new social media experiment by opening the doors of their news-desk to the crowd.

The potential of the crowd

Since October 10, the British daily newspaper publishes its news list in tabular form using “Google Docs” on its website: The Guardian, and invites its readers to actively participate in planning the selection of its topics. That the experiment is extremely adventurous is beyond question. In this sense, “The Guardian” allows even its own competitors to take a look insight the messages. However, the editors see the experiment as a great opportunity: “What if all those experts who delight themselves in telling us what’s wrong with our stories, after they’ve been published, could be enlisted into giving us more clues before hand? What if the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself?” argues Dan Roberts, editor of “National News.” The juicy, exclusive news remain though classified – one of the reasons for that regard the legal questions, that must be sensitively handled, but also the fact that the issues are still in research.

Opening the doors of the News-desk

What exactly can the crowd see? The News List includes a carefully selected range of planned topics, announcements, speeches and press conferences. Through the Google Docs tables you can view the scheduled items in the following departments: UK News, International News, Sports News and Business & Economics. Basically, the online news list is similar to the message preview of agency services. The table shows, however, in “real time”, which editor is working on which theme. In this way, the audience learns a bit more about how the work of a newspaper office is set up.

Twitter: #opennews

This project builds on the social media service Twitter. Whoever wants to send its opinion, idea, or his suggestions to the editors of the news-desk team can do so by sending a tweet via the hash-tag #opennews and so participate live in the theme planning, or directly tweet the specific themes to the journalists that work on the topic. The idea is to allow an open discussion and allow the audience to participate in the shaping of the daily newspaper.

Is it nowadays an asset having the readers help you choose and decide which issues are “worth” to be pursued in the reporting process, or is the Guardian with this experiment too daring? The answer will surely turn out in the course of the project. You can also follow it and learn more about it on

Dieser Artikel wurde am 04.November 2011 von judith geschrieben.


Judith Schröder