Audience interaction…in 1890
If you think engaging with your audience and toppling journalists from their ivory towers has only come about with the advent of Web 2.0, take a look at these “newsroom rules” printed in the Budget’s second edition on May 29, 1890. These were directed at readers, not staff:
Rules of our office
When you come in don’t sit down, but walk about and inspect the office closely.
Take hold of the press and give it a few turns, as it keeps it in working order.
Look over the editor’s shoulder and read what he is writing.
Don’t forget to examine the type, we like to have them mixed.
Don’t fail to make some suggestions as to how a paper should be run.
Spit tobacco juice on the ink disc, it keeps it from rusting.
Monkey with the paper cutter, it keeps it sharp.
Ask questions, we have lots of time to answer them.
Ahead of their time, some might say.