The start of every new year is a time of change for me.
I like to reassess what happened over the past year, examine what went right and what went wrong in all aspects of life. I learn from these mistakes and successes, and use this knowledge to improve.
Over the next several weeks they began to implement some of the changes, such as headline fonts, spacing between stories, use of photos, "white space" and other such tweaks. This slow rollout came to a conclusion Wednesday, Jan. 18, with some slight changes to our masthead. With this we feel we have cleaned up the look of your daily Petoskey News-Review, without going overboard.
In addition to changes in the look of the paper, we have been busy in the newsroom making adjustments to reporter beats. I like to shake things up every few years in this area based on the skills and interests of the reporters and the coverage desires of our readers. This is done through several months of examination of circulation trends and online story traffic, as well as readership surveys and personal interviews I have had with readers and staffers.
One of the changes I have made this year is working to get more reporters out on the beats, thus getting even more local news into the newspaper. To me, further improving our local coverage is vital and something unique in this day of cutbacks in the newsrooms of other newspapers, and the overuse (in my opinion) of news wire services such as the Associated Press. What makes the Petoskey News-Review unique and valuable to our readers is our heavy coverage of Emmet and Charlevoix counties, not coverage of national and world news through the use of wire stories. Sure, we have some national and world wire stories, but they are not high on my priority list to get into the newspaper each day. I'll leave that to the big newspapers and national media organizations. Our local approach has been very successful, leaving the News-Review with probably the largest readership in its history when combining both online and print editions.
As for the changes, you may see a different reporter covering the area of your interest and you will see even more local stories. You should notice a lot of changes in our online products, though, with more reporters contributing to our website, more website offerings (many of which, are still in the planning stage and will be rolled out over the next several months) and more lively interaction among reporters, news-makers and readers on our website through live chats, reader comments and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
With this, we are trying to improve not only our local coverage, but also take advantage of all the various mediums at our disposal through technology.
We will continue to examine our daily products and how we can improve them over the next year. I welcome your input on our look, coverage and stories we offer, as well as how we can use technology to get information to you.
Sometimes change works, sometimes it doesn't. Here at the News-Review we are not afraid to take a chance with changing the way we do things. This way of thinking, we believe, has led to our ability to provide our readers with a high quality publication.
Let me know what else we can do to meet your needs as a reader by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (231) 439-9316.
Jeremy McBain is editor the the Petoskey News-Review. Contact him at (231) 439-9316 or by email, jmcbain@petoskey news.com