I’m excited to announce today that I am joining the Washington, D.C., digital news startup led by Jim Brady and Allbritton Communications. I’ll be working as Senior Community Host on Steve Buttry‘s community engagement team, developing ways to work with bloggers and users to generate, share and discuss content.
Our goal is to build an online news site for the DC metro area, and do it taking full advantage of the how the web works — with partnership not competition, users not readers, conversation not dictation, linking not duplicating.
This is a big change for me after spending the past six years at a newspaper as a reporter, business editor, metro editor and web editor. I’ve done a lot of great things with great colleagues in Scranton, and I’m thankful for what all of them have brought to my life.
They will continue to do great newspapering after I’m gone. In my time trying to bridge the gap between print and digital news, I’ve realized that the newspaper will always be the newsPaper. It may publish a digital edition, it may do some things online, but the print roots always come first. That’s fine, it’s just not the thing for me anymore.
So I’m making the leap to something purely digital. I know the doubt I’ll hear most is, “But no one has figured out how to make money online.” I say I’d rather take a chance to invent a model that does work than be in one that seems to work a little less every day. We have some great ideas for that, and great people to implement and adapt them.
To people reading this in the DC area, I’m looking forward to meeting you and finding ways for you to be part of this site, not just consumers of it. I lived in the area for a short time and visited many more, and I have many old friends there I’m looking forward to seeing again.
I couldn’t be more impressed with the team in place so far at this yet-unnamed (maybe it’s a secret strategy to build suspense) site. The senior folks I’ve met so far, including Jim and Steve, are skilled, experienced and smart. I’ll be working with a team of other community hosts, a social media producer and a mobile producer. We’ll have a tidy but strong news staff and also be working with folks at NewsChannel 8. I’m happy and proud to be coming aboard.