Journalists — and I include editorial page editors in that category — are feeling a little threatened by the Internet these days.
After all, we get letters from angry readers gleefully anticipating the day when us dinosaurs in the MSM kill our last tree.
But there’s another possibility. What if the Internet’s power to provide a way for immediate feedback could improve the old-fashioned editorial board's attempts at reasoned argument?
I got a glimpse of that potential recently with Thursday’s editorial on American Airline’s decision to charge extra for checked baggage.
After we posted the editorial online, MeaganU used the comment function to point out an omission in our editorial — that smaller luggage compartments in American’s older planes will compound the problem. MargieV added another good point — that too much liquid could force you to check the bag you intended to carry onto the plane. No question, the comments improved what we’d written.
A few seconds on a search engine, inspired by the comment, turned up Dallas Morning News article that fills more details on American’s aging fleet. Be sure to check out the chart that accompanies the story.
The Internet is altering journalism in more ways than we’re yet able to imagine. Maybe for the better.