Editors and readers split over participation on local news sites

Readers and editors’ views on journalists participating in online discussions on local news websites are split, according to new research from the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME).

When questioned on the benefits of ‘journalists joining the conversation online and giving personal views’, 50% of the 500 readers surveyed said this would be ‘somewhat or very beneficial to good journalism online’.

In comparison only 27% of the 1,250 newsroom editors interviewed felt the same way.

Figures from the study suggest, however, that both groups support of local news sites opening up stories to user comments. Editors were more in favour than readers of users contributing under their real name.

The two groups also agreed when asked whether the same standards applied to online news written by journalists should be applied to citizen journalism content with 74% of the readers and 69% of the editors saying this would benefit online journalism.

The complete findings of the survey can be read on the APME website.

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