Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A big Maine news day for sure

Today was truly a big news day here in Maine. Especially at our statehouse but around other parts of the state as well. So far no swine flu here but some cases identified in nearby Nova Scotia and not too far away in Quebec. Great comprehensive story here from Canada's Chronicle Herald newspaper. A legislative committee in Augusta cleared the way for Maine to become the fifth state to legalize gay marriage and we learned of a bear sow and her year-old cubs, which were raiding bird feeders and had to be entered into the state's bear relocation program in an attempt to save the animals from being sent to a zoo or a worse fate. Also lots of brush fires sparking up around the state with a hot sunny April day reaching into the 90s. Lawmakers also banned outdoor smoking at State Park Beaches today. You can see a Sun Journal twitter poll on the issue and vote on it yourself here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Old but new international weekly.

If you haven't checked out the new weekly editions of the Christian Science Monitor, you should.
The paper has transformed itself into a daily Web site and a weekly magazine. At first I was leery of losing my daily fix of international and national news that wasn't all AP and briefed or the NYT spin. But the CSM seems to be pulling it off. The cover story this week is an analysis of the Obama administration so far. Pretty good stuff and interesting to watch how the CSM has converted their operations. My neighbor is an avid reader and an avid reader of the Monitor, his first reaction on the first issue was, "Ho hum." But he did say issue No. 2, this one on Obama was more interesting and compelling.
The reporting has short-form narrative style and the photos are really well-done. Check it out if you get a chance.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who knew Nixon played the piano. This is kind of interesting.

Quick review of work before vacationing in earnest

We've had two big weeks in the news here in Sun Journal land. This week was punctuated with tragedy with two terrible motorcycle accidents on the same day. But we also had some cheerier stories too like a fun natural science feature on the turmoils of breeding wood frogs. Inside the newsroom we were moving closer and closer to getting our content management system live but also have jumped out ahead of the competition with some of newer online functions. Our live chats with guests from our readership area have been very well-received and lauded. We also expanded our twitter use with a new account called SJscannerland and our awesome web editor has started a directory of our staff twitter users, not live yet, but coming soon.

A staff meeting on breaking news posts added a bonus conversation on the use of twitter and blogging for professionals. Some real giant steps forward this week on several fronts. I think we got both things worked out pretty well and there seems to be this new energy and focus in our newsroom these days.

We have also launched a couple of interesting investigations, in the too-early stages to say too much about -- but both should be big news days when we get all the information together. On about a dozen different layers it's been a busy, creative and productive time for our journalists and it feels great to be a part of such a strong team that's moving in all the right direction. It's also nice to take a much needed rest and reflect on it all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making it in the news world today ain't easy

We're on facebook and twitter. We live chat and post breaking news stories. The day of the daily deadline is all but dead.

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