March 30, 2010

Flint adds paper too

I let the March 23 debut of a Tuesday Flint Journal edition slide past. My husband did pick us up a copy the next day. But that was last week and I don't remember much about it other then a front-page letter from its highest ranking editor in Flint.

I know the new edition included:
  • An expanded weather package that returns some features cut under the new schedule: Pollen counts, for instance. (Too old to be useful, though).
  • Stocks and market page. (Not much help either. Unlike my hu

Selling the story

Columnist Andrew Heller is enthused about the return.
"First, I dearly love newspapers, and a Tuesday edition is a step forward. I'm not privy to the paper's long-term strategy, so don't think I'm hinting at anything here, but adding a fourth day is the first step toward adding a fifth day, and a fifth day might mean we'll someday see a daily newspaper back in Genesee County, which would be good for everyone, whether they subscribe or not.
I did notice that ads like the one above are running throughout the newspapers's online affiliate, That's nice to see the support.

I also know there was a launch party at the Flint Institute of Arts for The Flint Journal. And, judging by comments on Facebook, T-shirts are available for the promotion of the Great Lakes Bay debut.

A few blogs noticed: Flint Expatriates, for instance. An AP story was picked up by the Dynamic World of Print and Editor & Publisher and others.

The Flint Journal has been making changes - a new editor oversees the Grand Blanc and Fenton area weekly editions. A new reporter is covering the Grand Blanc area. A few more stations/networks were added to the weekly TV edition.

Community invited in

Bigger news was the implementation of a 2008-09 plan to let the public contribute photos, videos, press releases, and other information  directly to the online affiliate. The first Flint area site I saw was for the community where I'm living, Grand Blanc.

Once a person registers for the mlive site, they can log in and submit news, photos, videos (above) or entertainment listings (below). Items need approval of the "blog owner" before making it to the site. The sites began March 7.

Users are not required to submit a bio but you can look at all the posts from one user. That let's you guess where someone is from or what organization is represented. Postings from The Flint Journal and The Grand Blanc News flow into the same blog. All are organized by time and day posted.

Amy L. Payne,  who says she is "part of the online content team for The Saginaw News, The Bay City Times and The Flint Journal. I'm a Saginaw native, and I've been working for these papers since 2007. I'm generally on the lookout for stories from around the internet of interest to Mid-Michigan readers" pulled together (if the byline is to be believed) community contacts.

The links are considered news links, so no charge.

I wanted to name the new Grand Blanc News editor. Unfortunately, I don't know where the physical clipping is, searching the archives on mlive or the newspaper gave me nothing but old news, and The Community Newspaper site appears to have been updated last in September 2008.

When I left The Flint Journal in May 2008, I was interactive media manager. It meant I oversaw the online edition for what once was a daily newspaper with a growing emphasis on creating online content. Of course, no one at a news organization does just one thing so I had other responsibilities, too. Online sales, for instance. Computer-assisted reporting. Database marketing. Mapping. You get the idea - I was a geek into words, distribution of information and Internet tools.

Over the years, I worked in the newsroom, and editorial, advertising and marketing departments. I delivered a newspaper when I was younger. In between, I was a reporter and editor at several weeklies and had the pleasure of being the top editor of the State News, a five-day-a-week broadsheet available to Michigan State Univeristy students, staff and neighbors.


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