Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Truly Awesome News

Hey Y'all,

In case you didn't see the message yesterday, let me share the very, very cool news that is a finalist in the CNPA awards, making it one of the two best Web sites in the state to enter the annual contest. For that, two rounds of congratulations are in order.

The first goes to our former member Josh Kleinbaum, who's run the site as online editor for the past year. In that time, he's completely transformed it from an out-of-date shell into a much more versatile, reliable news source. Under his stewardship, we've added blogs, audio recordings, video, Web updates, better breaking news and interactive maps and graphics. And he did it all with a tiny, though talented staff, minimal resources and little time. In the final seven months of last year, Josh jumped us years ahead. We all owe him tremendous thanks.

And the second round goes to you guys. No matter how many good ideas he comes up with, it's you as the staff who provides the site with content. You're the ones podcasting, blogging, creating photo galleries and graphics. You're the ones editing videos and breaking stories online. And, most importantly, you're still developing and executing good, old-fashioned journalism alongside the new technology. No matter how much whiz-bang stuff we've got, we're only going to be as good as our stories and you're the ones who relentlessly churn out that great stuff.

Our site, much like our paper as a whole, still needs work, but we're getting there. As overhauls go through to make it crisper, cleaner and more efficient, it will only improve. In coming months, I expect to see the site really break out and shine-- you'll be the ones to pull it along the way.

So far, the partnership between the union and the company has produced excellent results. It was our contacts and relationships elsewhere in the industry that allowed us to collaborate on ways to update our jobs for the modern Web. Rather than standing in the way of these changes to our workplace, we've embraced them and played a role in integrating them into the newsroom. It's been especially heartening to see union members take the lead in so many ways -- I'm sure that spirit of working together will only grow stronger as we come across new opportunities and technologies.

And while contest wins are nice, the real test of the site's effectiveness is performance. That's the future, folks, and if we want to keep alive in this turbulent world of journalism, we're going to have to work even harder to ensure we get old readers to make the leap online and bring in new folks. Based on what we've done so far, I have every confidence we can do it. Thank you for all your hard work-- we'll need it and enjoy its benefits for years to come.



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