A small Connecticut daily has come up with an idea to make newspapers “more human” in developing closer relationships with readers by inviting them into the newsroom for instant feedback, finds Grumpy Editor.
Rather than wait for “letters to the editor,” the Register Citizen --- with 8,000 circulation --- serving Litchfield County from Torrington, thus brings readers close to the scene of the action.
Publisher Matt DeRienzo tells Editor & Publisher writers Kristina Ackermann and Deena Higgs Nenad that the effort has “generated a slew of story ideas” and promotes “immeasurable goodwill.”
DeRienzo calls it “like social media.”
Close to editors and writers is the two-month-old “Newsroom Café” where community residents can sip coffee, munch on pastries, lounge on sofas and monitor the newspaper’s Web site to provide instant comments.
The Café includes a library and a microfilm reader with 134 years of newspaper archives.
Outsiders also are invited to daily story meetings.
The on-premises community feedback “has really improved our coverage,” DeRienzo tells E&P.