Finally, a meaningful interactive tool for local news sites

4 01 2010

The Manchester, CT, Journal Inquirer pilots a cool tool for reporting problems to local officials and holding them accountable for fixing them.

Public officials get to talk back. The tool can also be used with businesses, non-profits, and even private citizens.

AND, the use of the tool, called SeeClickFix, also is drawing more readers to the news site’s paid content.

Seems to me that the tool will require heavy monitoring to prevent abuse, and using it beyond issues that are the responsibility of local government raises some real liability concerns. But this appears t0 be something of a breakthrough toward realizing the promise of interactivity for real civic engagement — a significant advancement beyond the message boards, forums, and the usually inane comment sections trailing stories.

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