The Guardian is opening up its newslists in a trial move which could change the news gathering process forever.
Dan Roberts (@RobertsDan), the paper’s national news editor, claims the Guardian newslists experiment is a progression from social media and could improve and speed up the editorial team’s decision making, improve its ability to check sources and ensure the paper has a consistent finger on the pulse of its readership.
So what impact does this have for PR consultants and in-house PR?
Firstly, Dan says the paper is concerned that the only people interested could be ‘news editors on other papers’ and ‘pestering PR people’. This indicates a nervousness that the opens newslist policy could effectively help a PR team do their research for them and lead to an increase in unsolicited ‘spam’.
Our opinion is that PR people must act with integrity and within the spirit of this experiment. If you access to a source, piece of research or a development that could be integral to the topic then offer this information professionally and via the correct contact.
Don’t approach speculatively with a tenuous link to a topic from the Guardian newslists that will be of no interest to the Guardian’s readership. This will damage the repuation of the industry and cause you to be blacklisted by the paper.
Common sense, yes, but important to remember as we watch this experiment to see what impact it has on the Guardian’s editorial policy.