The Publisher's Desk

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>What I learned from readers yesterday

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>I had an interesting and informative exchange with readers yesterday on RegisterCitizen.Com. CLICK HERE to see the whole thing.

We received many good story ideas, and thoughts on aspects of the news, in general, on which our reporters and editors should focus.
But we also got some great questions and feedback about the operation of RegisterCitizen.Com and The Register Citizen.
Reporting suggestions included:
* More specifics about what the Winsted police focus on, from drivers using cell phones to speeding in particular neighborhoods.
* Go beyond the statistics for unemployment and provide an in-depth analysis of what it is like to be looking for a job in Northwest Connecticut and the impact that is having on some families.
* Provide a more in-depth analysis and continue to follow the issue of sex offenders living in particular neighborhoods and near schoolchildren.
* Further examine the heroin problem in Torrington and how it has led to crime and overdoses.
* Stay on top of and examine the unfolding changes in the Winsted school system, as parents are very concerned about what is happening.
Feedback about our news gathering and policies included:
* Loud and clear, spelling and grammar mistakes were the #1 thing mentioned as a problem.
* The second biggest concern was how to clean up some of the nasty and/or abusive comments that make it into Sound Off and story comments online. Some suggested requiring that readers go through a registration process before being allowed to comment.
* Others said they’d like to see less emphasis/space devoted to national news.
* A reader questioned why we get beat sometimes by the competing daily newspaper out of Waterbury. The choice of a new assistant school superintendent in Torrington was cited.
* Support was expressed for our new emphasis on reporting every news story on RegisterCitizen.Com first, as soon as we’ve confirmed it. And in this new environment, impatience was expressed over being an hour later than other news sources yesterday morning, for example, to report that a Goshen man had died from injuries in a car accident the night before.
* Concern was expressed over the price of paid obituaries.
* Concern was expressed over the perception of bias in some of our crime reporting, where the accused is treated in stories as though they are guilty. Concern was also expressed
* Support was expressed for our weekly newspaper, “Good News About Torrington,” and for reporting more positive news and human interest stories in The Register Citizen.
* Concern was expressed that sexual abuse stories include too many details, which are harmful to victims and families and not appropriate for young readers.
* Concern was expressed over how Web site moderators decide which comments to remove and which comments to leave up on the site.
* The suggestion was made to open the pages of The Register Citizen and space on RegisterCitizen.Com to more “citizen journalism.”
* A question was raised about whether police blotter items should remain online indefinitely when in some cases the original charges end up being dropped.
* A reader suggested having an online listing of local movie theater times.
See the original article for some of my responses. Stay tuned for follow-up on many of these other great suggestions and ideas.

Written by mattderienzo

February 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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