Thursday, April 19, 2018

Weekly paper gives readers (and potential readers) a look at the pressroom, and delivers a useful message at the end

One way local news outlets can engage more deeply with their communities is to be more transparent about how they do their jobs. A typical method is a "letter from the editor," explaining a newspaper's policies, perhaps telling readers how and why a story was reported. But there are other ways to explain the workings of your organization, and some that may be more interesting than others.

Charles Myrick, editor of The Mountain Advocate in Barbourville, Ky., did a two-minute video of the printing of the newspaper at J. Frank Publishing, a sister company in London. Few people have ever been in a newspaper pressroom, so this is "insider footage" that will draw an audience. Myrick's first headline on the YouTube video is "Behind the Scenes."

At the end, Myrick has a overlay slide with an important message: "To produce just one issue of the Mountain Advocate requires employment of dozens of skilled workers in every aspect. It truly takes a team effort! We want to thank our readers and advertisers for continuing to make our jobs possible, and for believing in democracy and freedom of the press."

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