The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Rocking the Boat

 


I think I have the best job in the world as a community newspaper editor. It’s hard work. It’s 24/7. You have to make tough decisions every day. But, the rewards far outweigh the lack of sleep. The publisher of The Seward Phoenix LOG, Annette Shacklett, is at the helm of the company that owns this ship and she has asked me to be its new captain. She has given me the privilege of steering the LOG during the next leg of its journey through some uncharted waters.

I have a deep respect for, and a deep longing for, this thing called “community.” It’s a hard thing to define in an age of social media and the Web. I still believe people want to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves and, I think, we want to be of service to our neighbors, have our accomplishments acknowledged, be informed citizens and feel safe. Community newspapers should address all of those things.

As times change, so must community newspapers. It shouldn’t be a surprise that community newspapers are faring much better than regional and national newspapers. Although small newspapers are struggling to find the right business model and balance between tradition and immediacy, research tells us that most small town residents still want a physical paper and the residents of Seward tell us that, too. That shared communication source contributes to the sense of community.

The Seward Phoenix LOG has provided news and information since 1966. It has had ups and downs like any small town business, but the newspaper is renewing its commitment to fair and accurate community journalism while embracing new delivery systems. We will be changing our website format so we can post current news that will link back and forth to our Facebook page. We will be experimenting with video as well. We will produce a yearly community written full color magazine about local people and places yearly. We will open up the newsroom to AVTEC and UA students for internships and experience. The printed newspaper will remain intact.

Our goal is to provide news and information using all formats without compromising accuracy, fairness or alienating any segment of our audience. It’s a tall order. It won’t happen overnight. You have to keep the ship afloat while you are changing out engine parts.

I am new to Seward, though not new to Alaska. I know I have to prove myself to this community. I have to observe, ask questions and listen. I’ve lived in some exotic places, but Seward is the place I am choosing to call home. I love it here. It has all the elements that make up a great community. This is where my journey begins as the editor of The Seward Phoenix LOG. This is where the Seward Phoenix LOG’s journey begins as it travels across a new media landscape. Our destination is the intersection of Tradition and Today.

 

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