28 April 2009

Democratic Leaders

In a trial project launched this week, the Financial Times is asking readers to contribute to future leader columns by debating topics on its new Arena blog.

FT writers initiate a debate; for example, the first one is on whether taxes should be raised permanently or only temporarily. Readers are invited to comment at the end of each post from the journalists, who then select the best comments and add them to the main blog.

Next Monday, the editorial team will use readers' comments as part of their leader conference, responding to reader views in that day's leader both in the paper and online.

`I've long wanted to share the quality of the debates we have inside the building with our readers. This way we get to go one step further and invite them to participate,' FT.com managing editor Robert Shrimsley says on the Guardian Media website.

`Our community of readers is perhaps the most sophisticated in the business world, and this is a chance to draw on their expertise and invite them into the editorial process at the highest level.'

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