From the Editor's Desk: Newsroom continues to grow

February 28, 2007 11:00 pm

For the past few Thursdays, this space has been set aside for the "You be the Editor" column. That feature presented an ethical or policy decision about news coverage that an editor might have to make. Readers were invited to share how they would handle the dilemma.

I haven't received any responses to the latest dilemma, so rather than ramble on with my thoughts about it, I'd like to give everyone another week to send their opinions. The dilemma is presented in the box at right.

Instead this week, let me update you on a few neat things happening in The Daily Triplicate newsroom:

•Sorry for not getting back to you sooner – I haven't spent much time in the newsroom the past few days as my wife gave birth to our first child Friday. Mother and son are doing fine. My e-mail and mailbox aren't so good, however. Both are loaded with correspondence, so my apologies if I haven't returned your e-mail or phone call. Hopefully, it will be all cleared by week's end.

The best way to get hold of me is by e-mail. I spend most of my day meeting with our reporters, photographer and editors developing stories. Because of that, I'm usually not available for phone calls. But I can transfer e-mail to my Blackberry and look at it anytime, anywhere.

I know some people don't have e-mail. All I can say is society is making a transition in much the same way that the telegraph gave way to the telephone during the early 20th century. Not having Internet and e-mail capability leaves you isolated – it's sort of like not having a radio in the 1930s or a television in the 1960s.

•Parting is such sweet sorrow – Two newsroom staff members have left this month for jobs at larger circulation newspapers. Night editor Greg Garrison is heading to The Daily News in Longview, Wash., where he'll design sports pages. Youth reporter Karen Wilkinson is going to The Times-Standard in Eureka, where she'll cover education.

For both Greg and Karen, their new papers are in communities much closer to family.

Greg and Karen were great to work with and played integral roles in making The Daily Triplicate a top-notch paper. Greg possessed a keen eye for design and caught more errors than you can count before the paper went to press. Karen ensured we had a variety of excellent feature and educations tories that helped capture what matters most to our community. Both will be missed by readers, their colleagues and this editor.

But we must move on. So, we've already started interviewing for their posts and hope to have both positions filled by month's end at the latest.

•We've added staff, too – Just a couple of weeks ago we hired a part-time employee to our staff through the Chamber of Commerce's apprentice program. Amanda Snowden, a Del Norte High senior, is spending a couple of hours a day maintaining our Web site and learning about html.

If your business isn't involved in the apprenticeship program, I'd urge you to participate this autumn. It's an excellent opportunity for our community youth to learn work skills, and you'll find it actually helps your business. Our Web site is much improved since Amanda came on board, and it's not just because there's another helping hand in the newsroom. You'll likely find these teenagers are a lot more talented than you think. Indeed, when I interviewed candidates for the job of enhancing www.triplicate.com, all of them had their own Web site or had worked on one since eighth grade.

•Speaking of the Web site – If you haven't been to

www.triplicate.com recently, be sure to check it out. You'll find more content online than ever before. It also boasts a new look and sections.

The Web site is evolving, so in the days and weeks ahead, you'll probably see even more changes. Among them will be more links between stories that deal with the similar topics. We're focusing now on those stories that are among our "10 Issues to Address in 2007." Ultimately, our Web site will provide what we can't do with the printed edition, such as photo galleries and videos.

•But there's more – We actually have a number of projects underway to improve our sports, weather and local news sections. We're in very preliminary stages right now, however, so I don't want to promise something that we later find can't be delivered.

But you should know that we're always looking for ways to make The Daily Triplicate more useful and relevant to our readers. Please send along suggestions.

In the meantime, I look forward to hearing how you'd solve the "You be the Editor" dilemma above.

Reach Rob Bignell, The Daily Triplicate's editor, at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it