You may have noticed some changes in recent editions of The Jackson Herald and The Jackson Star News.
For those who may have missed the news, I have taken over as editor upon the retirement of longtime newspaperman Greg Matics. Greg is a good friend and deserves a break after 30 years at the helm of Jackson Newspapers.
I've been a journalist for a long time. I started in the business when I was 19, and I've spent almost 20 years in newsrooms around the state, including a previous stint as a reporter for Jackson Newspapers. And I've learned a lot over the years. My goal is to bring what I've learned to the table here in Jackson County.
In terms of the layout of the newspaper in your hand, you may notice subtle differences. We've been using some different fonts for articles and headlines. The standing heads are different, as are the column sigs, bylines, subheads, cutlines, kickers and jumpers. These are neat little newspaper style elements we journalists love to fuss over, but they're things you probably don't give so much as a second glance. We just hope it adds up to a more streamlined look that is a blend of both classic and modern newspaper elements.
The main thing I want to let you know is we want to increase our news coverage. That's priority No. 1.
On that front, you may have noticed we're hiring a reporter. We're also increasing coverage simply by getting out there a little more and attending some of the community meetings and events that have fallen by the wayside. We also want to continue to keep up with the great sports coverage Jackson County has received over the years, but, alas, we're heading into the summer and prep sports are winding down. We'll try to keep you posted on youth summer sports until football (and the other great fall sports) kick back into gear.
It's also important to note that we're going to be more active online, both through our website at jacksonnewspapers.com and on Facebook. We'll also be bringing you updates through other social media in the near future. So look out for those changes.
Next, we're looking for some community columnists. We would like to establish weekly or monthly columns on a variety of topics. So if you have an idea for a column, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pitch me an idea. We'd love to have a cooking column, or perhaps something on local history. I will consider any topic.
Getting into the paper has never been easier. You can contact us on Facebook, or email us at any number of staff email addresses. As I mentioned, my email is email@example.com. Another noteworthy email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a complete list of contacts in every issue of both The Jackson Herald and The Jackson Star News. Check it out on the Viewpoints page (hint, it's the info box that's usually located in the bottom right corner of the page). If you like to do things the old-fashioned way, our mailing address is 410 Race St., Ravenswood, WV 26164.
It should be noted we no longer have an office in Ripley. We've done some consolidating in the last year or so, but we still get a lot of callers who are surprised to hear we're now in Ravenswood.
So what should you send us? Well, you can send us any story idea you'd like. We love to receive press releases, so tell us about any event or issue going on in the community. Any idea for something you would like to see in the paper is welcome. Of course, we reserve the right to edit or reject all submissions, but we're pretty accommodating around here, so don't be shy.
A special note to coaches: Sometimes it's tough for us to make it to every game. So be sure to send us a report if you don't see us on the sidelines or in the stands. Just a quick rundown of the game, some stats and a few quotes should be enough for us to write up a good article. Contributing writer Mark Martin is still with us and will continue writing extensively about Jackson County sports and I'll be pitching in where I can as much as possible.
If you see me out and about somewhere, be sure to say hello. Until then, most of what you need to know is In the Lead.