2009-03-14 / Viewpoints

RESUSCITATING THE NEWSROOM

ROBERT HOOFTALLEN, PUBLISHER

All days are good, but this one is better.

We're elated to announce that longtime editor/reporter Teri McDowell has joined the Endeavor News team.

It's Teri's and my second time working together, having spent over five years as colleagues at the Leader-Enterprise in the early 1990s.

Teri produces, big time. She is a workhorse and having her talents on our news staff will improve this product in so many ways. That will become very evident to you over the next several weeks.

Her presence has paid immediate dividends. We put together and launched the military profile piece on page one. That took our combined efforts to produce and it probably wouldn't have even gotten out of the discussion phase had she not been involved.

Adding to our news team bucked the trend. Editorial staffs are getting smaller in newsrooms around the country as corporate owners look for ways to grow their profits even as the industry spirals downhill.

Plus, the internet has made it easy for readers, organizations, clubs, government agencies, and others to submit news to their local papers. And the vast majority of editors can't resist the temptation to just copy and paste that stuff onto pages. Who needs writers?

Well, we do, because we don't do that.

Everything submitted to us gets edited by either Teri or me. When we are done with them, they are considerably shorter, more concise, grammatically correct and follow this newspaper's "style." At one time, all newspapers had "style sheets," the book that outlind the rules for the presentation of the paper's content. We follow a strict style and doing so enables us to pack a lot of timely, relevant, local news into fewer pages.

It's "lean manufacturing," newspaper style. I'm a little biased, perhaps, but right now no one around here is doing it better.

We're going to win readers by doing this better than the others. We're going to win "word by word."

Welcome aboard, Teri and thank you for believing in this thing.

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