Before social media existed, even before readers could comment at the end of stories at sltrib.com, The Salt Lake Tribune provided online bulletin boards where people could talk about and comment on the news.
"Trib Talk," as the boards were called, thrived as a lively forum until Facebook, Twitter and other newer ways to interact displaced them.
We consider the exchange we have with readers on social media and via comments at the end of stories online essential to our work. That's why in the past several months we've revived Trib Talk at sltrib.com thanks to new tools available to us and a fine addition to our staff.
Once a week, typically on Tuesday, we invite readers to participate in a Trib Talk Google Plus hangout during which Tribune staffer Jennifer Napier-Pearce moderates a discussion about a particular topic in the news.
The forum is a live video chat readers view at sltrib.com. You may participate by posting questions or comments at the end of an introductory story in which the live video is embedded online. You also may post questions on Twitter or Google Plus using a TribTalk hashtag.
For those unable to watch or participate in the live chat, we write an online-only story summarizing the discussion into which we embed the archived video so people can watch the discussion at their leisure. To date, Trib Talk discussions have featured topics ranging from Utah Republicans' opposition to the Common Core education standards to this past Tuesday's forum on race relations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Monday, Napier-Pearce will lead a discussion with GOP state lawmakers in advance of a Wednesday caucus during which they'll discuss how to proceed in addressing alleged ethical violations by Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
The following week, The Tribune's Pat Bagley and peers visiting Salt Lake City for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists 2013 Convention will discuss the art of editorial cartooning on Trib Talk
Napier-Pearce, formerly the host of "City Views" on KCPW and before that a longtime public radio reporter, fill-in anchor and news director at KCPW and KUER, joined our staff in January as a consumer/personal finance reporter. Her broadcast experience makes her the perfect Trib Talk moderator.
Napier-Pearce loves the interaction with readers the new forum enables.
"As a reporter, you often go from source to source gathering comment, but you rarely get to see people with different viewpoints engage in a civil dialogue," she said. "With Trib Talk, the discussion is available for all to see and participate in, if they choose. This kind of public forum not only enhances the deep reporting you get from Trib reporters, but gives our readers an opportunity to chime in with their valuable insights on the important issues of the day."
If you're unfamiliar with Trib Talk or haven't yet participated in a discussion, check it out. We're eager to know what you think. Share your ideas on what works and what doesn't. Suggest topics for discussion.
We're always looking for new ways to engage you in the news that defines our communities. This is a forum we hope you'll enjoy.
Lisa Carricaburu is a managing editor. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @lcarricaburu.
Utah lawmakers on Trib Talk
Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Fairview, and Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, join TribTalk's Jennifer Napier-Pearce at noon Monday for a live video chat in advance of Wednesday's GOP caucus to determine how to address alleged ethical violations by Utah Attorney General John Swallow. Join the discussion at sltrib.com.