We're no longer just a newspaper. I'm not sure I'm ever going to get used to that.
Take, for example, last week's cover story ("The gentry are coming"). It wasn't the kind of lengthy yarn we might typically run as a cover story. The idea was that we'd publish more of a conversation-starter on gentrification -- a subject a lot of folks in Atlanta are talking about.
We continued that conversation outside the paper, with a Saturday morning radio call-in show ("Air Loaf" on WWAA-AM 1690 Air Atlanta). And, as the paper hits the streets this week, we'll be talking more about the subject during a community forum (Creative Loafing's Political Party at Dad's Garage).
The larger idea is to engage ordinary folks in authentic civic debates, in whatever way we can, about topics that really matter. Rather than just read a story in the paper, you get to participate by offering ideas and opinions to the people who can make a difference. Not only that, rather than just serve as a sounding board for a bunch of venting, we'll follow up by pressing the issues that really matter to readers.
The Web offers rich territory for such interactivity. We've added comments buttons to the bottom of every online story, and Online Editor Laura Fries is working with our staff writers to develop blogs that dig deeply into their beats. (I've posted a blog at www.whatarewefor.com to solicit comments and ideas related to last week's cover story.)
But the real key lies in getting readers like you to participate. So, for God's sake, make me look good by going right to that blog and adding a comment!
@ JF Williams "And now I have even more of a reason to totally ignore…
If only he'd continued to throw strikes the way he tweets.
Wow! Look what I missed...didn't miss anything I was at the beach. I burned gas…
At-large voting is a crock and a crime when it's conducted this way. Get rid…
If it is John Rocker writing the tweets they are pretty good.