One of the very first goals I set when I came on board as the Web editor at the Chronicle was to start a newsroom blog to give readers a bit of an inside look at how the paper gets put out every day.
Cut to the point: We now have one.
Our new assistant managing editor, Ted Sullivan, has volunteered to man the blog and post regular updates several times a week, cluing readers in on stories we’re working on, explaining decisions we’ve made and fishing for new story ideas. I’m sure he’s got even more in store for readers than that too. We’ll just have to see where he takes it. I’m confident.
A blog of this type is important for a newspaper to have, I think. Most people have no idea how the newspaper gets put together every day. When the tour groups come through the Chronicle, they are most interested in the newsroom. When our managing editor gives speeches for community groups, the questions he gets asked afterward are almost all about the process — how we do our jobs.
Newsroom blogs help explain that, which satisfies the public’s curiosity. Also — and importantly — they make the newspaper more transparent. In a time when confidence in the news media is low, the best way to win the public’s trust is to let them see how we put the news together. If readers can see that, then, even if they disagree with any perceived bias in a story, at least they can understand how that particular story came out the way it did.
I hope Ted takes on some of these deeper questions and discussions in his blog. As I said, it’s early, and we’ll see what direction he takes it. No matter what he writes, I know it will be entertaining and worth reading — after all, the guy’s a new media reporting master. He’s got this blogging thing down.
Also, Ted’s looking for ideas and inspiration. Check out the blog and leave him some comments to let him know what you think and what you think he should be writing about.