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Following our lead

By   /   October 3, 2012  /   Comments Off

Yesterday, news broke that another newspaper in Albany was going to put more of a focus on their web product. Oh, they’ll still print a daily paper. They’re just printing in Tallahassee now. However, their new emphasis on the web is just another example of that paper following the Journal’s lead.

During Kevin Hogencamp’s tenure, the Journal began running a list of the people booked into the Dougherty County Jail. It was instantly popular. So popular, in fact, that this other paper began doing the exact same thing.

On August 1, we announced that we were now going to be Albany’s first online newspaper. It wasn’t something we really wanted to do, but we were in a position of either continuing the paper online or closing the doors forever. So far, our readership has increased ten-fold. I’ll say we made the right choice.

The daily newspaper has made the comment that online entities in the community “repackage” news from traditional media. That’s part of the way they hope to distance themselves from the pack. That couldn’t be further from the truth however.

The Albany Journal utilizes any resource we can, and at times that means our competitors in traditional media. If WALB breaks a news story, then they broke the story. We then delve into the story ourselves as best we can based on our limited resources in an effort to provide you with the very best news we can.

However, the stories we present are our own. They aren’t repackaged in the least. We have no interest in “repackaging” anything. We are a news agency, not a news filter.

Amusingly though, many in the community are questioning this other paper’s statement that they maintain a “top-notch” news staff. While I have deep respect for several members of that staff, many in the community took issue with that statement. After all, this is the same staff that has a staff member who allegedly got parking tickets taken care of by a city official…a city official that the reporter was allegedly covering. The rumors have gotten around, and I have received a fair amount of information to lead me to believe in their accuracy. Yet this takes place in a “top-notch” newsroom?

All newspapers draw their critics. The Journal has drawn comparisons to The Onion on Facebook – though no example was given as to how anything we have reported was inaccurate. However, this other paper has a great many detractors in our community, and seemingly more than this paper. Most of our detractors stem from those who think the Journal is what it was half a decade ago, or those who work for the government that have come into our crosshairs. Those who have read the Journal lately have a different opinion, and we thank them.

However, we are proud to be leaders in our field in the Good Life City. We welcome our competitors, but they should understand one thing. We are not going away any time soon.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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