Friends with Benefits

Readers may have noticed there was something a little different about our front page and the news section in general last week. The Journal seemed to have acquired a new roster of reporters and correspondents, several -- make that all of them -- high profile community leaders well-known around the area.

Happy days would surely be here again if this supremely talented assortment of writers were on the Journal's permanent freelance writer list, but most of them already have a busy day job and their hands full. But owing to an unusual week of transition, when for a variety of factors our already lean and mean staff was reduced to the ultimate barebones level, we decided to try a one-time experiment and see where that went.

We invited several highly regarded local leaders to have a spin at writing on a topic of interest; in a way you could call it our version of "crowd sourcing." Typically, such pieces might have appeared on an opinion page, and while the themes they are expounding on reflect, of course, a personal perspective and should not be confused with objective, unbiased attempts at news coverage, we thought it might be fun - and informative - to hear directly from them in this fashion, rather than in the context of a standard news story.

We think they made responsible use of the microphone we've handed them, and hope that you find this experiment, born out of necessity, to be interesting, worth reading over and thinking about.

This week we are returning to normal and the more familiar role of seeking comment from them and other news makers around the Northshire when the circumstances dictate. Who knows though - one or more of them may discover a flair and a fondness for this kind of public interaction and decide that there are indeed second or even third acts in people's lives, and hard-hitting, investigative journalism could be one. No need to drop off any resumes either, folks :)


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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