Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Star Tribune' Revamps Online Opinion Page to Blog Format

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Star Tribune' Revamps Online Opinion Page to Blog Format

Article excerpt

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis launched a revamped online opinion page inviting readers to post their thoughts on a blog. "Opinion Exchange," which was unveiled on Monday, is updated throughout the day to encourage an interactive discussion.

Each weekday, editors throw out a summary of what was discussed during daily editorial board meetings. The idea is to let people post comments about the proposed subject. "Because opinion page readers tend to be some of the best informed online users, we're betting the discussions will be both thoughtful and provocative," wrote the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie about the change. "If they veer out of bounds, we'll moderate."

Staffers respond to blog posts every day using their bylines.

The best stuff from Opinion Exchange will be plucked and published in the next day's paper.

Commentary Editor Eric Ringham, who came up with the idea of the blog, said, "Opinion journalism especially depends on give-and-take and timeliness. We need to be engaging with readers when they are interested. We shouldn't ask that the reader to wait until Wednesday to discuss news that happened on Monday."

Reaction to Gillespie's post about Opinion Exchange was fairly negative, with many of the 10 commentators fearful that the discussion would devolve into nonsense:

"The vast majority are people with extreme views posting their hatred for most things. …

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