This week, The Guardian launched its open newsdesk service, allowing readers to get closer than ever before to the assembly of a news agenda and subsequent publishing.
Each day, a newslist will be put online showing what’s upcoming; events that need to be tracked, story ideas and, within reason, information the paper receives from various sources.
Social media is also playing a part in the plan, as links to the Twitter accounts of the writers assigned to each story will also be included, encouraging the general public to interact and potentially provide information on the topic. If a Twitter user asks, the writer will follow them, allowing for an exchange of confidential direct messages.
The Guardian is calling it “an experiment in openness”, but really it’s a shrewd move in-keeping with the times. With this “openness”, the Guardian is both presenting itself as a modern, forward-thinking newsgroup while its perceived honesty helps it move away from the bad feeling towards journalists and newspapers in general following the hacking scandal and closure of the News of the World.
By inviting both Twitter and the general public into its newsroom, the Guardian is also embracing the role social media now plays in the news. This year has seen Twitter snowball into perhaps the fastest distributing platform of news stories in the world, and, for the time being at least, one free from legal issues that can hamper journalists.
In short, the Guardian’s “experiment in openness” shows the world how it puts together its current news agenda, but it could also make it first in the pack collating the stories of tomorrow.