Behind The Scenes
16Apr/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [04.15.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I was the in-studio guest, this week, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. This week's discussion includes: Traffic snarls following the unexpected closing of Interstate 91 over the weekend; The ongoing investigation into a police-shooting at a local hotel; And the future of Vermont Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Listen to it here.

8Apr/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [04.08.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I called in to the studio, today, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. This week's discussion includes: Coverage of an officer-involved shooting in Brattleboro; a weekend house fire in Brattleboro and how to coordinate that type of after-hours coverage; ongoing struggles with the Brattleboro budget; a recent report from Strolling of the Heifers ranking states' efforts and/or support in regard to the locavore movement.

Listen to it here.

1Apr/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [04.01.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I was the in-studio guest, today, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. Discussion included: Famous April Fool’s pranks in the media, the Brattleboro Selectboard’s trip to Montpelier and letters to the editor about shopping local.

Listen to it here.

25Mar/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [03.25.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I was the in-studio guest, today, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. Planned discussion include: The fallout from last weekend's annual Representative Town Meeting in Brattleboro (coverage and my impressions); coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines Jet; and the Reformer’s policies regarding candidates for elected office.

Listen to it here.

24Mar/140

Blog update [03.24.14]

Just a quick note to let readers know that this blog was recently moved to a new server, and so there may be some bugs with older posts (I've noticed missing images and broken links). Just an FYI to let you know I'm aware there are issues and am working to fix them.

Thanks for reading.

19Mar/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [03.18.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I call in for this edition of Live & Local, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. Planned discussion for this week includes: Brattleboro's upcoming Rep. Town Meeting (and residents showing up to fill those empty rep. seats!); ongoing controversy at the Rockingham library; Putney's cell tower and park and ride; Austine School; N.H. Town Meeting; my recent blog about reporting on sex offenders; and much more!

Listen to it here.

17Mar/140

Recoginzing good work (AKA the Reformer’s ‘best of’ 2013)

One of my lapsed New Year's resolutions was to do a better job of (publicly) recognizing the hard work and good effort put forth by the Reformer newsroom. This is something I'd like to do on a monthly basis -- in fact, in the past I had attempted to do just that via newsroom-wide e-mail blasts. Of course, there's something to be said for that recognition being more "public" ... and what better way than via this blog?

Steve Buttry, Digital First Media's digital transformation editor, wrote about wrote about recognizing such effort in a blog post last fall:

"I believe the recognition is more important than the cash. ... get the newsroom involved in brainstorming another meaningful way to recognize excellence ... Turn your recognition program into an opportunity for colleagues to learn from each others’ excellence."

In this industry, people always focus on the bad news. So often there are phone calls about an inadvertent error that made it into print, or the overwhelming negativity of news coverage ("Why don't you ever cover good news?" -- Well, we do, but it's human nature to focus on the bad and forget about the good.) The truth is, it can be hard on a reporter -- or an editor, for that matter -- to be bombarded with this type of feedback, and only this type of feedback. And, as a newsroom leader, it should be my responsibility to remind folks -- either in the newsroom or in public -- that there are good stories in print. That reporters' hard work is appreciated. That we are making a difference.

To that end, I'll kick off this new feature, which I plan to do monthly, with a look back not at the previous month, but at 2013. The following, broken out into several categories, are the stories and features from which we would pull entries for journalism contents. (Point of full disclosure: I did, initially, put this list together for an awards entry.) But I think it's important to highlight these efforts, both for the reporter and as a reminder of the many different stories a small town newsroom can publish over the course of a year.

14Mar/140

Reporting on sex offenders in the news

An interesting discussion in the newsroom, earlier today, on exactly how -- or even if -- a newspaper should report on sex offenders who move into the community.

As day managing editor Bob Audette put it: On the one hand it's a reader service and people should be aware if one of these people is moving into the community; On the other, these folks have served their time and deserve a second chance at a normal life (if they're on the "up and up").

Shadow figureTruthfully, this information is at anyone's figertips. Both Bob and myself signed up for alerts from the Vermont Department of Public Service Victim Crime Information Center. This information is public knowledge. But, the truth is, a lot of people just aren't aware of this service. So, if one of the main duties of a news outlet is to keep the public informed, isn't this just another reader service?

To be honest, until today's discussion, I didn't have an opinion on this one way or the other. But, after an editorial board meeting of the minds, the following decision was made: Starting in the next published Police Log, the Reformer will begin listing sex offenders who have recently been released into the community. Though we will be listing the name, age and offense of the offender, we will not be printing his or her photo or address.

That information will also run with the following disclaimer: However, for those in the community who would like to register to receive notifications, which include photos, go to icrimewatch.net/register.php?AgencyID=55275.

But, as with many decisions such as this, I'm interested to find out what members of the community think, as well. Do you believe it's a news outlet's responsibility to publish this type of information? Or do your believe once an offender has served his sentence he should be left alone to live in relative anonymity? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment, here.

[UPDATE: This conversation is also taking place over on the Brattleboro Reformer's Facebook page: take a look.]

12Mar/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [03.11.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I'm the in-studio guest for this edition of Live & Local, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois. This week, we discuss the fall out from last week's Town Meeting Day in Vermont, as well as voter participation in Brattleboro.

Listen to it here.

6Mar/140

My Appearance on Live & Local [03.05.14]

podcastQuick post to promote my latest appearance on Live & Local (WKVT 1490AM and 100.3FM in the Brattleboro area). I am the in-studio guest for this edition of Live & Local, to discuss the news of the week and journalism in general with host Chris Lenois.

Chris was nice enough to invite me back for an extra appearance this week, to give a post-Town Meeting Day wrap-up. In the first hour, Chris and I take calls from the Reformer reporting staff. Howard Weiss-Tisman, Dom Poli, Mike Faher and Chris Mays go over the big goings-on in the towns they covered.

There was so much news coming out of Town Meeting Day, I stayed for a second hour to talk about Brattleboro's non-binding vote to approve a 1% option tax and Vernon's move to dissolve it's town police department.

First hour: Listen to it here.

Second hour: Listen to it here.