Newstrack 04/06

Readers react to series exploring Maine’s heroin crisis

This article by the Portland Press Herald is particularly unique, because there’s not necessarily any hard news reporting going on. Rather, it’s an article entirely composed of reactions to a series done by the Press Herald about addicts. What’s even more unique is that readers’ reactions aren’t just quotes in an article, but also Facebook comments and comments from the Press Herald’s site. The Facebook comments are embedded, so readers of this article can like or share the comments directly from the article’s page. The comments from their site are just embedded as screenshots.

I thought it was an interesting approach, because it achieved essentially the same thing as a typical article; there was background info and then quotes that exhibited differing opinions on the topic, but the quotes were almost interactive. It presented voices of the public in a very direct way.

I did think that at a certain point the comments became a bit exhaustive, but I found the format interesting enough to stick with it. It’s odd to think that 10+ years ago, an article with this format wouldn’t have existed–it’s a new spin with a classic effect.



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