This post is from Luanne Rife, a member of The Roanoke Times editorial board.
The Roanoke Times editorial board in December launched Point/Counterpoint to encourage informative debate on topics. Two experts are invited to begin the debate in the Sunday Horizon opinion section. The discussion then moves over to the RoundTable blog where we had hoped people would continue the debate and participate in live chats with the experts.
We like the idea behind Point/Counterpoint, but think we could have executed it better. For starters, the blog post became lost among all our other posts, and we don’t think we allowed enough time for people to dig into an issue before jumping to the next one.
This past Sunday, we initiated some changes. A Point/Counterpoint topic will appear over two weeks in Horizon. The first week will feature the experts’ initial essay. The second week will feature their rebuttals and comments gleaned from the RoundTable.
In the interim, we’ll feature it prominently on the RoundTable to make it easier for people to jump into the conversation. (For a fuller explanation, read my column here.) In fact, a lively discussion has already erupted with more than five dozen comments about home-schoolers and sports.
We’d like to hear your suggestions on how we can make this more user-friendly and of value to you.
1. Have you looked for Point/Counterpoint online? Were you able to find it easily? Did you join a discussion? What would make your experience more worthwhile?
2. Have you seen online debates at other websites that you thought were done well?
3. What topics get your blood pounding? Your eyes glazing?
4. What other suggestions would you have for us in presenting this feature or in drawing in participants?