Delivering news in a new way

By Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer January 15, 2011 05:00 am

Today’s front page story about the neglected dogs and cats removed from a Harbor home is old news – at least for readers who follow the Pilot’s web site and Facebook page.

Within a few hours of the event happening on Wednesday, Jan. 12, a story and photos about it appeared as breaking news on the paper’s Facebook site and at www.currypilot.com.

The same thing happened a few days earlier with a story about the search for a missing Brookings teen who later turned out to be a runaway. News of the missing boy first appeared on the Pilot’s Facebook page Sunday afternoon, and a full story, with the latest information, appeared at www.currypilot.com later that night. The story didn’t appear in print until Wednesday’s edition – three days later.

In both cases, these stories began and ended between issues of the Pilot. However, today’s technology allows us to publish the information quickly online. This isn’t new for larger newspapers and other publications – they have been doing it for several years, and slowly but surely the Pilot is has been doing the same.

When I took the helm of the Pilot in 2000, the only way to disseminate local news was via the twice-weekly issues. The only way to get breaking news quicker was to call the newspaper and ask about it or, perhaps, via the local radio stations.

Flash forward to today. When news breaks, the Pilot has several options to get the word out – our web site, Facebook page and the Pilot’s News Alerts. Nearly 2,000 readers subscribe to our News Alerts, which are e-mailed news items sent out as warranted.

We recently added a fourth online resource, the Pilot’s local music blog Coastal Grooves at www.coastalgrooves.com. Here readers will find the latest information about the local music scene, including local artists and those touring through our region. Coastal Grooves is a pet project of mine. I’m a music lover, an active participant in the local music scene, and I love to turn people onto all styles of music.

The music blog features concert announcements and reviews, downloadable songs (called mp3s) and photos and videos of the artists.

For example, when I learned earlier this week that country/pop singer Travis Rush, a Gold Beach High School graduate, was releasing a new CD, I rushed to get audio and video of his latest single on the music blog. I also included a link to his website for people who wanted to learn more about his music.

The blog also features photos and audio by local bands, such as Snapshot and Slow Children, both of which recently performed concerts in Brookings.

Much of the information that appears on the music blog is also published in the print edition of the Pilot. However, the information usually appears first online.

I guess what I’m saying is, check out the Pilot’s many online offerings and find out what all the excitement is about. Add our website, Facebook page and music blog to your list of daily stops as you cruise the Internet each day.

We’re working hard here at the Pilot to get breaking, feature and entertainment news to our readers. And it’s just a few clicks away.

Ain’t modern technology grand?