Join dialogue to get answers

Ed White produced a news story for the Feb. 19 edition of the paper with the headline, New crop price listing service must prove it is unique. In it, he detailed the Alberta Wheat Commission’s proposed crop price listing website.

When I wrote this column, there was only one comment on the story’s web page, but what I found interesting was that it was by Henry Vos, who is on the board of directors at the Alberta Wheat Commission.

Here is what Vos had to say about the article:

“Alberta Wheat Commission goal of this project is to collect data assembled in context of specific grades, proteins spreads and deferred bids.

“Data in this format is not publicly available and creates challenges for farmers and for a properly functioning marketplace.

“Grain marketers and subscription services create true value in the interpretation of the data. Farmers would not remain loyal or subscribe to these services if they only received pages of data.

“We will not be providing interpretation services and as such not competing with the private sector market advisory services.”

As I mentioned in the previous column, the news articles that The Producer publish are often just the beginning of the dialogue that occurs between people who use our information services.

In the above example, where Vos clarifies the intention of the Alberta Wheat Commission in creating the crop price listing website, we have someone with an insider’s view of the project who has added extra information to the story.

What I like about the ability to comment directly on stories is that anyone can ask for clarification or provide more information to others who read the comment sections.

Our journalists use their training and experience to cover the many issues facing producers today.

However, some topics have too many facets to completely cover in one story.

User-generated dialogue can help flush out ideas and questions raised by our articles.

The Producer’s comment sections on the website are places where people can discuss story specific issues. You can let your opinion be seen by some of the thousands of people who frequent our website.

However, you should be ready to respond to other commentators, who may address your comment.

Now that Vos has stepped forward in the public forum of our comment section, other people can comment on his note. They can critique it, support it or even ask Vos for additional information. He might respond, as people often do when they put their name to the comments they write.

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