In a column in the Miami Herald Sunday, executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal told readers that the paper was ending its two-month experiment that solicited voluntary contributions from Web readers. Said Gyllenhaal:
"Finally, a brief note to let you know we've ended our experiment with voluntary contributions from Web readers. The project taught us a lot about online reactions, but it's unlikely to be an important part of our approach going forward.All very nice, but as is typical with Gyllenhaal, his explanation leaves readers with more questions than answers.
"We think this is a time for constant experimentation, not all of which will work. So you can expect a variety of steps in providing news, launching fresh features, trying new things."
Today, Gyllenhaal revealed the "real" reason the Herald shelved the tip jar program. He told an industry blogger that "the paper felt the request for reader donations conflicted with a campaign for Haiti earthquake relief that has raised more than $1 million." So, why couldn't he have said that Sunday?