As reporters and editors stream into the newsroom on a Monday morning in September, they glance upward at the pageview numbers beaming from the 55-inch, flatscreen monitor. The journalists savor the metrics, which indicate that Web traffic skyrocketed more than tenfold over the weekend as the newsroom scrambled to produce stories, photo galleries, and videos of the floods that ravaged northern Colorado.
Josh Awtry, the youthful-looking, slightly bearded executive editor at the Fort Collins Coloradoan
, kicks off the morning news meeting with plenty of praise for the outstanding coverage, mentioning reporters who produced detailed stories and stunning videos and those who posted numerous updates on Twitter, Facebook, and the newspaper’s website. “The social component of this has been phenomenal,” Awtry says, turning to his online engagement editor, Paul Berry. “Paul, you crushed it. All the information we provided—talk about service journalism. That’s cool.”