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Posts Tagged ‘The Gazette’

Read this post in Russian, translated by Google. Читать этот пост на русском языке, перевод Google.

I love an old front page, especially a historic one.

As much as I spend my time trying to lead, prod and catch up in the digital world, nothing makes me stop and read like a yellowing front page with a historic story or photograph or both. I display historic front pages in my office, two mounted in permanent frames and others rotating into a case my son Joe designed for temporary display. I came to Siberia bearing my own historic front page as a gift to my hosts, and quickly decided I should give it to Yuri Purgin, director general of Altapress, publisher of 13 regional publications, based in Barnaul. I wanted to give him a copy of the June 13, 2008 Epic Surge edition of The Gazette. (more…)

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I can think of few jobs as exciting or as important (to me) as being editor of a newspaper. I was so delighted to get the job as editor of The Gazette that it seems weird to give it up. Voluntarily, even.

My wife, Mimi, knows how much I loved being editor. My colleague Mary Sharp, The Gazette’s longtime Iowa Editor, knows what the title means to a career journalist. I had nearly identical conversations recently with each of them. “But that’s what you came here to do,” each of them told me, in nearly identical words, in separate conversations about the fact that I would be relinquishing that title.

No, I responded. I didn’t come here to edit the Gazette. I came here to help transform this organization and the newspaper business. I can do that better by leaving behind the entrenched titles, structures and thinking of a business that I love. So now I take on a new job and a new title: Information Content Conductor.

As I have reported before in this blog, Gazette Communications is splitting content creation from the making of products. Lyle Muller, the new Gazette editor, and I will explain this change further in the coming weeks in our columns and blogs.

With Mary’s assistance, I will lead an organization that will seek new ways to develop content that is richer, deeper and more meaningful than is allowed by the limitations of our products. Lyle and other colleagues will work to continue serving our community with excellent products using content from my organization and others.

We will share details as we fill positions in both of these new organizations and finish realigning our company in the coming weeks.

But let me tell you this much about our plans: My new title sounds odd at first (yes, to this old editor, too), but each word tells you something about what we are doing:

Information. We will continue providing factual, independent news and information for the community. While the tasks, presentation and means of delivery will change, integrity and truth will remain the core of everything we do.

Content. The kind of content we provided in the newspaper was pretty simple when I started my journalism career in 1971: stories, columns, editorials, lists and photographs. Graphics became a big deal in the 1980s. The future of content is far more diverse: all that as well as databases, videos, audio, slideshows, text messages, blogs, tweets, interactive multimedia, comments, questions, live chats, interactive maps and more that we can’t yet imagine.

Conductor. As much as I have loved the title editor, it doesn’t describe what I will be doing. Maybe the title will change someday, because I know the work will change as this organization and my job evolve. But for now, conductor seems the most accurate term. As a musical conductor does, I will be orchestrating the work of creative people. As a railroad conductor does, I will interact with the public to provide an orderly, satisfying experience. As an electrical conductor does, I need to carry energy in the staff and the community.

I wish that we were launching this new venture in a thriving economy with a larger staff. But the economic challenges that forced us to reduce our staff this week underscore the necessity of transformation.

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Calendars are one of the oldest staples of the newspaper business.

As proud as we are of our news reporting, photojournalism and columns, one of the most important jobs we do for the community is to help you know what’s going on and decide what to do and where to go. The calendar is a simple tool that helps us perform that job.

We publish several calendars in the newspaper during the week, but the truth is, those barely begin to tell all the clubs, faith communities, sports teams, social groups, and other organizations that meet, perform and present events each day throughout our region. And for the events we do include on the calendars, we provide only the barest details.

But as you started your new year with a new calendar, so did we. Check out our new Gazette calendar and you will learn more about Eastern Iowa events in one place than through any other source I know.

You can search events by date if you want to know what’s going on today. If you want to search for events of a particular type, such as art, theater or children’s events, you can choose from more than 40 categories. If that isn’t enough, you can suggest a new category. You can search by location or keyword.

Or maybe you’d prefer not to search. You can ask to receive an email newsletter, notifying you of events in categories you select.

Once you click on an event, we provide basic information such as date, time and location. We provide the description of the event, as entered in the calendar by the organizers. If the location isn’t familiar to you, click the map icon and you’ll get a Google map you can print out. Or click the weather icon and you’ll get the conditions and forecast for that location from weather.com.

If you’d like to tell others about the event, click icons to post it on social networks such as Delicious, Facebook, Reddit or Twitter. Or you can email the event listing to friends. If you want to put it on your calendar, you can click icons to save the event to various calendars on your computer or on the Web.

If you use RSS feeds, we give you a variety of choices to receive calendar listings directly. You can select a feed of all of our listings or you can select a feed of events for your community or for only the categories that interest you.

If you would like a community calendar for your organization’s web site, click “tools” and we’ll provide the script for a widget to embed our calendar on your site.

Our new calendar will be convenient for organizers to use. Enter your information at this site, and you will be submitting it to the calendars of various print and online products of Gazette Communications: The Gazette, GazetteOnline, kcrg.com, Iowa.com, Edge, Hoopla, HooplaNow.com, PennySaver and Community News-Advertiser.

By entering the information yourself directly, you can ensure its accuracy. (If you see information in our calendars that is inaccurate, please let us know so we can fix it quickly.)

Though we provide easy entry for event organizers, we also provide a check against mischief by anyone who would enter a bogus event. Each event will be reviewed by Gazette staff before appearing anywhere (so allow some time for your event to post).

This new calendar is the result of lots of hard work by more Gazette staff members than I can name here, but those deserving praise include Zack Kucharski, Jason Kristufek, Matthew Manuel, Linda Cruise, Christine Doty, Trent Orris, Brian Siguenza, Tom Altman and Stephanie Heck.

Take a look. This calendar demonstrates our commitment to continue improving how we do one of our most important jobs: Telling you what’s happening in your community.

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One thing that hasn’t changed in the newspaper business is that we get annoyed when broadcast media, as they frequently do, rip off our stories without credit.

My friend Daniel P. Finney of the Des Moines Register, night cops reporter and author of one of the best beat-reporting Twitter feeds, DM_in_the_PM, expressed this annoyance Saturday, noting in a tweet that KCCI had ripped off a Register story.

Newspaper ethics tend to do better about direct ripping off the competition. Plagiarism is a career capital offense, so if we can’t advance a story or find the same sources to duplicate it, we reluctantly attribute. (more…)

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