Commentary: Trying something new

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If you’ve been a long-time reader of the Signal Tribune newspaper, you’ll know that the publication only comes out with one print issue every Friday. That means, news that breaks from Saturday to Thursday is fair game to print Friday in the publication. This form of putting out news does have its advantages; being able to dig deeper into stories or waiting to see how they develop over time are some pros that come to mind. But, a downside to a weekly publication is that news that breaks Monday, for example, won’t make it to our readers until Friday.

Since I’ve taken the helm of managing editor here at the Signal Tribune last month, I’ve implemented new ideas to bolster our readership across the two cities we cover, Long Beach and Signal Hill. These new tactics are to help us be part of the ecosystem of daily news and maintain relevance and consistency. We have recruited the help of a news wire service to help us publish the local and county news that we may not have the resources or manpower to cover. That does not mean our staff reporters aren’t working on hyper-local stories that impact our readers directly. This new tool allows us to fill in the gaps in our coverage and provide quick updates on what is happening on a daily basis while we collect more information for our long-form journalistic pieces. The Signal Tribune newspaper website, signaltribunenewspaper.com, has become a daily news source for Long Beach and Signal Hill readers. We have started a hashtag on our Instagram account, #SignalTribunePhotos, which allows our readers and followers the chance to have their photos shared on the newspaper’s social media accounts. This allows for our creative readers to get exposure and share these photos with other members of the community. Since adding in these new tactics, our online readership and number of followers has increased. These new styles of publishing information do not mean the print will be left behind, it simply means that we want to establish a digital foothold in the news-sharing market for years to come. In an effort to stay local in our coverage, we’ve reached out to the community via Nextdoor and asked, “What are we missing?” The response has been amazing with over 50 replies from stories ranging from coyote concerns, tax-spending trends citywide and so much more I’ll run out of space if I detail it all here. You can join in the discussion by visiting our profile on Nextdoor. Speaking of reaching out to us, have you followed us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook? A common misconception us millennial journalists hear is that older readers aren’t into Facebook or Twitter. I chuckle when I hear this, because I know the older crowd is very active on social media. What they have to say is always important to hear as is all our reader age groups. Who knows, maybe we’ll make a TikTok account (I’m looking at you, Gen Z). More ideas are on the way and possibilities to partner with local nonprofits and businesses to develop localized, organic content are appetizing ventures, but we only will get there taking one step at a time.