Guardian office

The Guardian will blog about a 'carefully-selected portion' of its newslists to encourage reader feedback

Credit: Michael Bruntonspall on Flickr. Some rights reserved
The Guardian is to start a new daily blog on which it will publish parts of its newslist – traditionally a closely-guarded secret in the newspaper industry.

The blog will include a "carefully-selected portion" of the national, international and business newslists and encourage readers to contact reporters and editors via Twitter using the hashtag #opennews.

Announcing the experiment, national editor Dan Roberts said that the newspaper is not planning to list all its exclusives or embargoed content, or publish anything legally sensitive or unsubstantiated, but he said the move was a "leap in the dark" nonetheless.

"The idea of giving this information away before publication might therefore seem to be putting digital dogma before common sense. Just because the internet theoretically allows journalists to give readers a peek behind the curtain by sharing the list with them does not make it a good idea.

"We suspect otherwise though at the Guardian. What if readers were able to help newsdesks work out which stories were worth investing precious reporting resources in? What if all those experts who delight in telling us what's wrong with our stories after they've been published could be enlisted into giving us more clues beforehand? What if the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself?"

The experiment begins today with a short trial, and Roberts said that the Guardian would be "ready to pull the plug if we suspect we're giving away too much competitive advantage or falling on deaf ears". He also warned that the organisation would not "give up our right to exercise our own judgment about which stories are important, or pay much attention to pestering from PR people".

Roberts cited cynicism fostered by the phone-hacking scandal as one of the reasons for publishing the daily blog, saying the sought to address an increased desire on the part of audiences to know "where their news comes from and how it is made".

Guardian Media Group, publisher of the Guardian and the Observer, recently announced that the organisation was adopting a "digital-first" strategy under which it would concentrate its resources on digital publishing and eventually slim down the print edition to focus on comment and analysis.

The first #opennews blog has now been launched, see it at this link.

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