Stroud column: Tooling around with your community newspaper
If you’ve noticed a few subtle changes to what’s in your local newspaper recently, you’re very observant. Better yet, there’s more to come to the pages of the Post Independent — quite by design.
For the past few months, we have been working on what we’re calling a “retool” of our cover and inside page design, as well as the content you find in the pages of the Post Independent each day and online at postindependent.com.
It’s not a redesign, per se, but just a way of sprucing up the look of the PI to make it more reader friendly and direct some of our regular content to certain pages each day on certain days of the week, while introducing some new content to the mix.
Beginning with this, the Opinion page, you’ve likely noticed that we’re sharing a broader, more-balanced mix of commentary, both syndicated and from our regular rotation of local opinion columnists, as well as occasional guest opinions.
Starting next month, we will be regularly running two columns each day, ideally from different sides of the political spectrum, in an effort to achieve better balance in our opinion offerings.
This, in addition to providing a forum for constructive conversations about issues in our community and abroad, via letters to the editor.
Please keep in mind that our columnists and letter-writers do not represent the views of the newspaper. Those are called editorials, which we also plan to get back in the routine of writing.
In doing so, we are reconvening our editorial board after a long hiatus. We have invited community members to sit alongside PI representatives for a set period of time to help weigh and discuss issues of community interest, or even regional or national interest, and decide what positions to take.
If you have an interest in sitting on our editorial board in the future, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional changes to the pages of the PI involve different themes on each day of the week.
On Sundays, besides our regular “Sunday Profile” people feature, we hope you’ve seen our new #PostSnaps photo page. Maybe you’ve even seen a familiar face or name associated with one of those photos, either as the subject or the submitter.
PostSnaps are reader-submitted photos that come to us via the social media platform Instagram; taken of people, places, things and, of course, pets from around Garfield County. We ask people to submit their photos via Instagram using the hashtag #postsnaps. Each week, a select few will be published in print and online, and shared on Instagram. Photos can also be sent via email to email@example.com, but Instagram is just a lot more fun.
Also new to the weekend lineup is a biweekly food column from local foodie Jordan Callier, giving a glimpse into some of the culinary offerings in the area, along with some rather tasty sounding recipes.
A regular Saturday “Food” section will include other staff-generated and AP wire content.
Additionally, we’ve begun to repackage our Business and Health (formerly Inside Business and Body & More) sections on Mondays and Tuesdays. Come March, those days will swap, with health-related news, features and community columns running on Mondays, and business news, features and columns on Tuesdays.
Wednesdays will see the regular return of photo essays and companion online photo galleries and videos, where we will visually tell the stories of different people and organizations and their activities in Garfield County through multimedia.
Thursday’s new Education section will focus on schools- and youth-related news and stories in our communities, including the monthly Garfield County Library News column and news from YouthZone and other community organizations.
Friday will continue to be our day to let you know about all of the Arts and Entertainment happenings for the coming weekend and into the next week, as well as artist profiles and other arts-related features.
Also coming soon, we’ll have a new, more dynamic look and feel to our front page, with more photos, often bigger photos and teaser references to the stories you can find inside each day’s paper.
Other design and daily page content changes are still being hammered out and will be rolled out over time. Our goal is to make the Post Independent more appealing and relevant to you, the readers, in terms of the news we share and the stories we tell.
And, as always, we are open to your suggestions.
John Stroud is editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. His column, In Defiance, appears monthly.