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Commentary: On to new challenges– A look back at modernizing the paper

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I cannot be more grateful for the Signal Tribune newspaper and staff. Sure, that may sound like a biased statement– seeing that I work here for a living– but the opportunity that this local newspaper has given me to work in the field as a professional journalist while finishing my undergrad studies at California State University, Long Beach, cannot go ungratified.

I’m so excited to announce that this month I will continue my career as a journalist with NBC4. While working there, however, I must temporarily sever ties with the Signal Tribune, since it is considered a conflict of interest working for two news organizations.

All the years of studying, all the hard work that would prolong itself late into the night, the early morning interviews, the heart-racing police lines and structure fires– all of that– has brought me to the doorstep of the news giant that NBC is.

Now, I have to be frank here and mention that this is an internship– a job here is not guaranteed. That being said, there’s a chance you might catch me back on the Signal Tribune’s bylines; heck, you might even catch me on The Byline podcast again.

That takes us back to the beginning of this prompt. The Signal Tribune gave me a shot. They trusted me to get the job done, and done it was. I also have to thank my second home: Long Beach.

Going to school and work out here, I got to know the city’s various sub-ecosystems, from Naples Island to Bixby Knolls. Everyone is so tightly woven into their neighborhoods– it almost felt as though I would enter a totally different city when I would drive from location to location covering different stories.

While at the Signal Tribune, I was able to experiment and bring new ideas to freshen up old tactics. My colleague, Managing Editor Denny Cristales, and I always championed for a new, sleek and modern website.

Yes, most people who still read the paper are older folks, but having a robust website ensures this publication can live on to keep future generations of Long Beach residents informed about what is happening in their backyard.

We also developed our first podcast, The Byline. This allows us to have a toe-hold in a medium that research shows is the growing method for storytelling. We boosted up our social-media presence on Instagram and Twitter to meet the demands of this ever-changing market.

Despite all these modern changes, we’ve always stayed hyperlocal, and I’ve always admired the Signal Tribune for that.

In 2008, when journalists were being laid off and local papers were folding, the Signal Tribune stayed afloat. I always related that point in time to the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. When the “rock” hit, in this case the recession, some businesses clung to a niché in order to survive.

In everything that we do, we strive to cover what matters to the various sub-ecosystems in Long Beach that I previously mentioned.

I also want to thank you, the reader, for sticking with us and putting your faith in our content. If you ever feel that we are missing the mark on what concerns you in the community, never hesitate to tell us.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Commentary: On to new challenges– A look back at modernizing the paper