I'm all for newspaper experimentation and I wish the LA Times well with its coming revamp of the editorial pages, but one idea sure sounds dubious (Editor's Note: To Our Readers).
Watch next week for the introduction of "wikitorials" an online feature that will empower you to rewrite Los Angeles Times editorials.
Now this doesn't provide a whole lot of information on what they have planned, but I'm trying hard to imagine how they intend to make this work. Won't they simply be inviting their partisan readers to engage in an "Edit War
"? After all, editorials are supposed to have a point of view, with which many readers will undoubtedly and inevitably disagree.
Furthermore, aren't editorials supposed to have a "voice"? How do you accomplish this, do you want to accomplish this, in a "wikitorial"?
They almost certainly won't be trying to embrace Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy, which would be pretty boring, if they could get it to work for things that are supposed to have point of views.
Perhaps they'll have forking? One (or two?) base editorials, point/counterpoint style? One base editorial, many forks? Not exactly a wiki then, really.
Well, I guess we'll have to find out next week.
via Dan Gillmor
Ross Mayfield has some thoughts on the subject (Wikitorials).
Teleread is more excited than I (Wikitorials Coming from the Los Angeles TimesBut, Wait, How About Wikens?).
Political Animal has even more on this (The Future of Editorials?). Quoting the New York Times (Upheaval on Los Angeles Times Editorial Pages):
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."
Hmmm... I'm not sure they get it. When you edit a Wiki you're not really editing it to your satisfaction, you're editing it to the satisfaction of everyone who reads the Wiki subsequently. Cuz if you don't, they'll edit it to their