RYAN C. TUCK: The Pilot Is Working to Bring Print and Web Closer Together
Check out Tuck's Blog
Sometimes the best way to move is just to move.
We have made a lot of positive changes in the past few months, but I am a hopeless romantic -- I always think we can do more. While our Web site has a much-improved look and feel, we want it to be more pervasive. Still only about 5,000 of you use us each day. And there are a lot more of you out there.
We have made strides to join the newspaper and the Web site through complementary projects and multimedia storytelling. But, boy howdy, we can do more.
Sure, we have podcasts, audio slide shows and blogs. We'd like to see RSS feeds, an online calendar, video and e-mail alerts.
There was an article in Editor & Publisher this week titled, "Why Aren't Newspapers Breaking Out of the Box?" I especially liked its main point -- that online-focused editors are the seeds of the future.
Aside from affirming my future plans, the article raised some excellent points about old newspapers learning new tricks. It argued that online operations should be the focus of newspapers. Though it might seem contradictory, this idea is a sound one.
ThePilot.com is the most immediate news source in the Sandhills. As soon as we find out about something, there's a brief about it on the Web site. ThePilot.com is a 24-hour-a-day newspaper, and our most immediate storytelling outlet.
And the Internet is the medium that allows the greatest experimentation. While you can read a great write-up from an event in the newspaper, you can experience it on the Internet. Hear the people talking, absorb the scene -- this is all possible online.
So why isn't the Internet everyone's focus? People are "still too tied to the print business and thus are unwilling to go in directions that might damage it," the Editor & Publisher article concludes.
While The Pilot is not immune to this problem, I'm proud to say that we are moving in the right direction. We've experimented with some of these new storytelling methods. We've made some personnel moves to beef up the online operations.
But we can do so much more. That's where this move comes into play.
I just dragged my computer from my formerly isolated desk in the advertising department into the newsroom to saddle up nearer to Steve Bouser and David Sinclair, who direct the entire news operation, of which I'm a part. As we work to join the two mediums, it will help to become physically closer.
We'll be meeting with others on the news side in advance of each issue to formulate a plan of attack. Whether an article, a podcast, a photo gallery -- we'll be thinking of the best way to tell the story.
We "new media" folks don't have all the answers, though sometimes we thnk we do. Print stalwarts don't either. The only way we can come close is to combine our talents and knowledge and see if we can do right by you all by making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
This week's notes:
-- We started a new podcast, called "Tuned In," which spotlights different local music acts. In cooperation with Mo McNeill and Star 102.5-FM, Christine Storrs and I will be producing the show every other week. Our first subject was the Cowboy Band, a bluegrass/folksy group of local professionals-by-day, musicians-by-night.
-- The Links section of the Web site has a new, much-improved feel. We are retooling the section in hopes of making our Web site, in even more ways, the most comprehensive information source in Moore County. If you have Web sites or links that you would like to see included, drop me an e-mail.
Contact Ryan C. Tuck at 693-2507 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out Ryan's blog online at thepilot.com
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