Greetings from the newest PeoplesNetWorks collective member. The last few weeks have been hectic, so please excuse the delay in my requisite blog baptism and personal introduction. I do want to share how thrilled I am to join the collective and begin my work as full-time staff reporter and editor.
Having worked for various news organizations in the past, including a public radio station in Syracuse, Iâ€™ve had much freedom to cover issues that are important to me. But I did not have many opportunities to do the type of quality, in-depth journalism for which The NewStandard is known and loved. For those of you who listen to public radio, youâ€™re likely familiar with the two-to-four-minute local newscasts squeezed into National Public Radio programs. For public radio reporters, at least the ones who venture beyond the fax machine for their stories, your daily job entails a painful process of shaving down hours of research and interviews to fit into a 90-second segment. (And in case youâ€™re wondering, thatâ€™s about 250 words.)
I do love radio, and hope to produce more exclusive TNS audio complements to some of my articles. Though there are clearly advantages to the written form (namely, more real estate for information as well as greater accessibility and more permanency), the human voice can convey nuances that you might not pick up on the printed page. Anger and despair. Hope and empowerment. Even pauses and silence can communicate an important slice of the story. So look forward to future audio features -- and as always, please send feedback about what youâ€™d like to see and hear as we explore the possibilities.
Of course, I am also brimming with excitement about the site redesign and the next year of growth now that there are five collective members. Jessica, Brian, Michelle, and Brendan are four of the brightest, most committed people I know, and I look forward to gaining much from their distinct talents and skills.
I also know the work is going to be difficult, both in producing content and in learning how to work together as a collective. Weâ€™ve already had a number of long phone conferences, rotating roles as agenda-setters, facilitators, and note-takers, and as we tackle operations and editorial issues, we are negotiating bumps and potholes along the way. After a long meeting, itâ€™s easy to feel drained and daunted. But itâ€™s a worthwhile trade-off for the benefits of a non-hierarchical organizational structure weâ€™re using -- a model I hope we strengthen, so that others may see it as a possibility for their organizations, too.
Finally, Iâ€™m really looking forward to more interaction with readers and members. Though it may sound like a clichÃ©, you are the reason TNS exists, and your feedback and participation are key to the evolution of this fresh, feisty organization.