Guardian opens up newslist to the public

The Guardian has opened its newslist up to the public in an experiement it believes could let readers help them decide ‘which stories were worth investing precious reporting resources in”.

In a blog post today national news editor Dan Roberts said the trial could mean that ‘experts who delight in telling us what’s wrong with our stories after they’ve been published’could get the chance to give the paper ‘more clues beforehand”, and raised the prospect of ‘the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself”.

Explaining the initiative, Roberts said:

The idea is to publish a carefully-selected portion of the national, international and business newslists on a daily blog, which will launch on Monday morning, and encourage people to get in touch with reporters and editors via Twitter if they have ideas.

He added:

Obviously, we’re not planning to list all our exclusives or embargoed content and we’ll also have to be careful not to say anything legally sensitive or unsubstantiated. Nonetheless, we think there are lots of routine things that we list every day which might provoke interesting responses from readers: everything from upcoming press conferences, to stories we need help uncovering.

If readers can see that we’ve got a reporter looking into the police killing of someone with a Taser – to use a recent example – they might be able to direct us to other recent deaths or the definitive report on their safety risks.

Roberts admitted it was a ‘bit of a leap in the dark”, which was why it had structured the experiement as a short trial – and that it was ‘ready to pull the plug if we suspect we’re giving away too much competitive advantage or falling on deaf ears”.

‘What we won’t do is give up our right to exercise our own judgment about which stories are important, or pay much attention to pestering from PR people, but we do think it is worth listening to our readers,’he added.

Click here to see today’s newslist.

The Guardian is publishing seperate live national, international and business newslists using Google Docs to share them and including details such as the name of the reporter working on each story.

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