The Slate’s Timothy Noah says he has a solution on how to improve stale, irrelevant editorial pages: get rid of them! He writes his column in reaction to news about Michael Kinsley’s shakeup of the Los Angeles Times op-ed pages. The changes include experimentation with "wikitorials."
This week, the newspaper, will introduce an online feature called
"wikitorials," as a way for readers to engage in an online dialogue
with the paper. The model is based on "Wikipedia," the Web’s
free-content encyclopedia that is edited by online contributors. "We’ll
have some editorials where you can go online and edit an editorial to
your satisfaction," Mr. Martinez said. "We are going to do that with
selected editorials initially. We don’t know how this is going to turn
out. It’s all about finding new ways to allow readers to interact with
us in the age of the Web."
Steve Outing of Poynter asks, "what the heck is a wikitorial?"
Wikis applied to editorials? I have my doubts about that one, but we’ll see. I think the concept can be successfully applied to factual information; the intelligence of the group serves to correct errors. But opinion? Won’t we just see warring factions vying for their point of view to be included? OK, we’ll watch this with interest. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to see the original staff-written editorial alongside the wiki-edited version.
Update 6/20 – L.A. Times Suspends ‘Wikitorials’.