The Guardian is launching a fascinating, and some might say reckless, experiment online. It is opening its news lists and editorial conferences to its readers, and inviting them to have a say on what are the most important issues of the day and how they should be covered. The Guardian openly admits this could lead to stories being stolen by rival titles. It is also aware of potential legal pitfalls, as much of what is said in a news conference would be unprintable for a cocktail of reasons.
They say journalists never let the truth get in the way of a good story, but the same might now be true of politicians. Was an illiegal immigrant allowed to stay in this country because he owned a cat, or wasn't he? The tale (or should that be tail?) gained momentum after David Cameron backed his home secretary, Theresa May, in his conference speech yesterday and confirmed that a Bolivian immigrant had indeed been saved from deportation because he owned a mog named Maya.
Here's the rather bleak view of former Independent on Sunday editor Ian Jack, who wrote in The Guardian on Saturday that newspapers could soon become like "artisanal cheese". He says national newspapers could become a fetishised luxury product rather than a daily habit. Why? Because, unlike the cheese, they are being consumed with less relish...
Some of you will have already noticed a new addition to your personal menus on the Centre for Journalism website - our style guide. Put simply, it's a newsroom dictionary giving advice on good news writing, grammar, common mistakes and cliches that can be avoided. It also sets out how to write numbers, dates, times and other information. You will be expected to follow our style in all your news writing assignments.