06 March 2008

Mail Campaign Sparks 'Great Debate'

A campaign launched last year by the Birmingham Mail has elicited over 1,300 comments on a forum.

The thread concerning the Mail’s call for an elected mayor referendum has been viewed almost 186,000 times and has drawn some 1,383 responses since its posting in March 2007.

Featuring on the forum of local website The Stirrer, the thread accounts for some 8% of its host’s activity and shows that newspapers can encourage debates on sites other than their own.

Mail editor Steve Dyson notes on his blog: “I think it’s great that so many people have been engaged in thinking and talking about politics.”

He adds: “Most interesting of all are the posters who register dismay, anger, nay, disgust at the subject.

“And yet they still can't resist commenting... day after day. A right row goes on most days.”

The Stirrer, which also exists as a blog, is managed by Mail columnist Adrian Goldberg.

Its tagline is “News that matters, campaigns that count”.

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