Editor and Publisher has compiled it’s 2020 list of news publishers that are doing exciting things at their companies.
As more newspapers incorporate new media into their storytelling, the Arizona Republic took a slightly different approach.
“Think about new media first rather than as an addition,” said Josh Susong, director of investigations and enterprise.
In November 2019, the Republic released a six-part podcast called “Rediscovering Don Bolles: A Murdered Journalist.” Bolles was an investigative reporter for the Republic in the 1960s and 1970s, who was killed in a car bomb in 1976 because of his reporting on the Mafia and corruption in Arizona. What made this podcast unique was that listeners could actually hear Bolles’ own voice tell his story (43 years after his death).
“When we found the tapes, we knew it was imperative we gave Don Bolles a chance to tell his story,” executive editor Greg Burton said. “Podcasts didn’t exist when he was a reporter…and even 10 years ago, (podcasts) were not there, so this was a way to present this story in a new, interactive way.”
In addition to podcasting documentary films were also being produced.
Little Rock, Ark.
In 2018, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was faced with the reality that the newspaper was going to have its first unprofitable year in two decades. But instead of cutting content, resources or staff, publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. sought to do something big keep the newspaper afloat.
Using a projected income statement, the Democrat-Gazette found a subscription price of $34/month.
“Some things have changed,” Hussman said. “Number one, a lot more people in America have high-speed internet today than they did nine years ago (and) the iPad is a much more accepted and familiar product. Here’s the other thing, nine years ago people didn’t think, ‘Oh, if I don’t go to this (digital) replica the newspaper is going to go out of business.’”
Although the story of the Chicago Sun-Times begins in 1948, a new chapter began at the newspaper in 2017 when Tribune Publishing acquired the Sun-Times. Since then, the Sun-Times has been working on revamping its newsroom through several initiatives and projects, specifically when it comes to digital.
Video and podcasting are also booming enterprises for the Sun-Times.
How great is it to have a city where citizens can pick up two papers, and read and respect the Tribune’s editorial page, and they can read and respect ours and then make a decision,” editor-in-chief Chris Fusco said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Click here to review the rest of the list.