Because the established powers in the media industry have a history of setting the news agenda, it has taken a lot of urging and cajoling for them to start giving more power and control to their audience. And now we’re starting to see the flowering of experimentation on many big news sites, from the FirstPerson citizen media effort at MSNBC.com to the recent redesign of USAToday.com with reader comments and recommendations for each story. But in perusing all the feedback to that redesign, many complaints have already cropped up. “I tune in to sites like this to find out what informed journalists and editors think is important in the world today, not what Woody1 has to say about Ann Coulter,” says one anonymous commenter. “I don’t think the public interest is well served by this bottoms-up approach to journalism…Reader comments have a place on this site, but it should not be on the front page.” How far do you think major news sites should go with reader participation? Should comments be played up more or downplayed? Should all big news sites have forums for readers? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll run the best ones in the next Your Take Roundup.
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