Poynter Online has an interesting story on a new application of webcasting technology. The Spokesman-Review (a Spokane, Washington newspaper) is now showing their news editorial meetings twice daily, live, to anyone who cares to watch online.
This is a great chance to see the real behind-the-scenes process involved in assembling a newspaper. Currently the editor says they read emails from interested viewers to get feedback and input from the consumers. Imagine how fascinating it would be to take this to the next step with two-way interactivity. The staff could put up a live poll and see what their readers think in real time. They could solicit comments from onlookers to get opinions on relevancy or importance of topics under discussion.
I live in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. Our one major metropolitan newspaper has a running debate from readers over the prominence of sports features on the front page. (As I write this, our home team may be winning the Stanley Cup of hockey at this moment. And don't even get me started about the college basketball season... Non-stop coverage of Duke, UNC, North Carolina State, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest... Oy!) I wonder how direct feedback from the readers might affect the composition?
I salute The Spokesman-Review for this experiment in transparent journalism. Will Fox News be next? I'd love to watch those editorial meetings!