Saturday, June 02, 2007

A new national website

Many of you know we're in the final stages of preparing to launch what we hope will become a destination website for public affairs journalism from McClatchy.

Based at the Washington bureau, the site will feature work of regional, national and international correspondents; columnists, cartoonists and photographers from across the country; and the best of national journalism from our papers. We're also planning to enlist freelance contributors to help us broaden the scope of our coverage and commentary, to encourage readers to upload video commentaries and footage they shoot on the presidential campaign trail, and so forth.

The near future, we hope, will also include ambitious participative journalism projects and social networking tools to help readers build communities of interest around areas we're covering: Iraq, veterans issues, the U.S. Attorneys scandal, and the like.

I talked about the site Friday at the Washington bureau, and most of my remarks (minus a few proprietary items) are available at some length here.

Here's a taste:

We don’t have to debate and worry any more about the future of the news business. While there are a lot of fundamental variables still much in play, we know enough to assert a great deal right now. We will occupy a distinctly hybrid, multiplatform, multimedia future in which we exercise far less control but enjoy far greater reach and opportunity. We will touch more people in more interesting ways. We will collaborate with our readers and audiences, we will operate more transparently, and we’ll find ourselves adjusting and recalibrating constantly as we do.

Here’s the really good news: we get do all of that on the most solid possible foundation, this bureau’s unequalled capacity for producing significant, exclusive, public service journalism that sustains our unchanging mission as a company.

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