By: Greg Mitchell
Some days I feel like I’ve been around journalism as long as Editor & Publisher, which turns 120 this year. Actually, that’s almost half true. I’ve been immersed in this world for about 50 years — going back to the mid-’50s when I might have been the only kid in America who, as a huge Superman fan (both the TV series and the comic book), wanted to grow up to be, not the Man of Steel, but Clark Kent. My wish came true, about a dozen years later (minus the horn rims), at the Niagara Falls Gazette. Back then, of course, E&P was still printing ads on its front cover.
Now here I am, nearly a lifetime later, as editor of E&P, and, in our first monthly issue, after more than a century as a weekly, the Gazette appears in one of our feature stories, on page 44.
That’s a roundabout way of saying: Welcome to the “new” E&P.
As I announced in this space in September, and detailed in our final weekly issue in December, E&P is shifting to monthly frequency in print while going “hourly” online, with a significantly expanded and redesigned Web site. We are doing this to better serve the needs of our readers, giving you more news, faster, via the Web while providing more analysis and feature material in print. Despite the shift in print frequency, we have maintained the same staffing levels and dedication to tough-minded fairness and accuracy that helped us win the Jesse H. Neal Award for business journalism in two of the past three years.
On page 3 of this premiere issue, we describe some of the special features of our Web site, which remains “free” to subscribers (when you activate your account) but will now be mainly closed off to non-subscribers. Look for many new columns, more frequent updates, wide-open classifieds, and a fresh design. Further enhancing speed and clarity, you will find that stories now flow into six new mini-sites, covering specific areas of interest: Newsroom, Advertising/Circulation, Technology, Business, Syndicates, and Online.
But as long as we’re here – in the dead-tree edition — why don’t you step inside my house, as Lyle Lovett sang not long ago (covering a Guy Clark tune)?
Perhaps you have already noticed a number of changes here in print, some more obvious than others. In our expanded monthly, we will carry about three feature stories, instead of the weekly one. The News department up front now becomes “The ‘A’ Section,” redesigned in a lively fashion, with more pages, no “at deadline” briefs, and an emphasis on trends and profiles.
We are printing more letters. Obviously, I am now writing a regular column, and we have moved Allan Wolper’s ethics column (which won two journalism awards last year) nearby. The traditional “At -30-” inside the back cover will usually come from a guest, this month, Tom Wicker.
Elsewhere in the major leagues… our Technology page becomes a feature-length “E&P Technical” section every month. The popular NewsPeople has been expanded to about four pages, and we’ve brought back obituaries. We’ve added a Data Page of relevant (sometimes, odd) industry statistics and a Month in Review, which features another cool addition, the Editorial Cartoon of the Month.
In the months ahead, you’ll find that all of the special issues from past years will return, starting in February with Editor of the Year, and continuing with Publisher of the Year, the Nexpo preview issue, 10 Newspapers That Do It Right, our annual Syndicate Directory, Photos of the Year, and all the rest. So keep your dial right here — while letting your fingers do the walking to the Web.