A Change Is Coming

I wanted to take a few minutes and talk to you about the changes going on here at The Southside Light News, some that you may already be noticing.

Several years ago while working with CNN I was in Atlanta at the headquarters for the network. It was there that I had a “lightbulb” moment and realized that there was a change happening in the news business and it had been coming for a very long time.

As a young reporter, correspondent and producer the only things that I really knew about publishing were radio and words on a page. Sure, at both of my previous news organizations (BBC and CNN) we had TV arms, but those were little more than revenue drivers. They bigger picture was social media and digital content.

Now obviously CNN is a wildly different product today than it was 10 years ago and so is the news business. But, if you look at CNN their products are very different and almost independent of each other. Their television arm is extreme left while their digital product is mildly more subdued and a bit more palatable. Their news content is insanely different than their “human interest content.” Their products are all widely different.

Fast forward a few years to when I came back to local news at KRIS 6. Back then KRIS 6 and I were at two very different places and their focus was lightly digital, sports and investigative heavy, and geared to tune you in a specific times. They also had a leadership philosophy that killed innovation. I hope that’s changing now, because innovation is what we need. And that’s why I’m talking to you tonight.

When we set out with this product it was meant to be constantly evolving and innovative. We were the “outsiders” and had no real opinion of those in charge. We still don’t. But our system has to change live up to the charge of being innovative.

We will cover more “selective” news. We encourage you to still go to the TV outlets for the daily grind. But then come back here to take a deeper dive into the story and examine the bigger picture. We want you to come here and talk about those stories and grab ahold to others that we think they may have missed along the way. Maybe uncover an angle that you didn’t see in the 30-90 second clip art television version.

You’ll see more video. Part of the new branding is more video content from our original pieces to content from trusted news outlets, bloggers and writers around the world.

Something else you will notice are new faces and names and some that you might recognize. They will be shooting, writing and producing stories here that supplement our daily content.

No, we will not be focusing on the car wrecks, house fires and “most wanted” stories of the day. It’s never been a heavy focus here and it still isn’t. That said, we aren’t going to leave you hanging on the major breaking news stories like hurricanes and other major happenings—we will still cover them broadly, live and accurately over the digital format.

My point here is that you will see our aggressive investigative style hold tight. We will still dig into finance reports, tactics and plans. We will still

You wrote in and asked for more local content about things to do here in town, places to see, new businesses, small business, and other people interesting local tidbits. We are going to do more of that.

Something else that you asked for was more nature and outdoors content. I listened and you will notice more of those stories coming out no the days and weekend ahead.

One thing that we learned is that many folks in our community have an interest in our state government and the inner working of that. Well, that happens to my personal wheelhouse and I’m building more content to help you engage more with your state Capitol.

You also wrote in asking for more interviews and homespun content on local issues. You said that you want to hear from the decision makers themselves and that you wanted them to ANSWER questions and not tend a narrative. You got it. You’ll see more of that in the coming time.

Some key takeaways are this:

1. More content across various platforms.

2. Where there is a backstory, we will bring you the backstory.

3. More video. You’ll notice more video and livestream events.

4. Essays and content on things like the arts, science, religion, education and government.

5. More original content based on your our community.

6. Interviews with government leaders, policy wonks, and everyday people.

I hope you enjoy the new format and that you continue to give me your feedback!

We will talk soon,


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