I like what my German hometown paper NGZ is doing. They have embraced blogging and are taking it a step further in a back-to-the-future kind of way. NGZ and sister publication Rheinische Post launched a “reader-to-reader” portal called Opinio in early 2005. Readers can post their own articles about a broad range of topics. More than a year later, they have contributed 14,000 articles.
The kicker is that editors select the best articles and publish them once a week in the print edition of the newspapers and every two weeks in a dedicated magazine supplement. The prospect of having their own words and photos appear in print seems to appeal to many people, and is an additional incentive to join the Opinio online community.
Opinio was developed by Boogie Medien for Rheinische Post. If you know of other newspapers with similar ideas let me know. Here in Canada, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post all do something or other with blogs on their sites now, and all three employ journalists who have started personal weblogs related to their beat. But it would be interesting to see a Canadian newspaper launch a blog-to-print portal like Opinio.