I’ve been following @AnnaTarkov for awhile on twitter. She’s just one of those people that quickly gain a reputation for being involved in a particular city, town, village, whatever. In Anna’s case, that’s Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Maybe most importantly, she’s a frequent news consumer and she recently began a series of online interviews with news consumers in Chicago. Only four interviews in, I’m hooked. As a student editor at the Daily Illini, I constantly wanted to know more about what our readers thought of the content in our print and online product – and what they thought was missing. Like many things at a student publication, reader feedback seemed to slip through the cracks unless a specific person reached out to our staff through a phone call, letter or tweet. Looking back, I’d put more focus on being proactive as a news organization and seeking reader feedback rather than just waiting for it to roll in.

Reading what real Chicagoans like, hate and simply don’t care about when it comes to their local news options is an experience every journalist should try to recreate in their own community.

I’m still debating the best way for me to try that at the new job as a local government beat reporter for the Wausau Daily Herald. I haven’t blogged about the job before this, primarily because it’s exhausting and I usually want to get away from a computer in the evening rather than spending more time in front of a glowing screen.

Any suggestions are welcome – how can reporters ask for – and actually get – feedback from their readers?

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