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Website provides resources to let the public get involved

November 9, 2010 - Art Smith

One of the advantages of the web is it allows a discussion to blossom by providing the public with the resources to debate a topic and reach their own conclusion.

Most media is bound by one of two limitations — time or space. The web though allows for a nearly limitless amount of space in which to debate the topic of the day.

When a topic grabs the attention of the public it allows for a more detailed discussion online than elsewhere.

Recently in Parkersburg there has been a lot of discussion over proposed plans by the city to add a user fee for anyone who works or lives within the city of Parkersburg.

Because of the flexibility of the web we have been able to do the following:

• Provide the complete city budget in pdf form. Doing this allows the public to download the budget and determine for themselves what the city needs to do to balance the budget.

• Allow the public to comment on stories that we have published. Here is one example, a story posted Tuesday morning had more than 30 comments by Tuesday afternoon. READ

• Hosted polls on the site that allow people to vote on what they think is right concerning a wide range of topics.

• Host a readers forum area where readers cannot only discuss city issues, but virtually any issue they want.

One of the roles of a community newspaper has always been to provide a platform for public discussion. The web just makes it easier.


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