Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It seems like there are some questions out there about our Web site. Why are there two of the same stories on the homepage? Why is a day-old story still considered "breaking news?" And why is that story breaking news at all?

Well, lucky for you, I have the answers.

Our goal here at sanluisobispo.com is to get you the news as it happens. We know you don't want to wait until the delivery person throws the rolled-up paper at your door early in the morning. By that time, the news is old. (That's not to say the printed product is worthless. It has many features not available online).

But our goal on the site is providing up-to-the-minute updates. So when I get in at 7 a.m. (or sometimes 5 a.m.), I immediately start looking for the newest news. I check for press releases e-mailed or faxed to us by local police or fire departments. I peruse the CHP Web site for any crashes or other mishaps that may delay your commute. I scan the news wire for stories from outside agencies (such as the Associated Press) that may be of interest to SLO County residents. I'll either write up the short article or copy and past, and then post to the section of our site called "Latest from the newsroom."

The items go up onto the site in the order I post them. So a story that may seem like bigger news may be under something was posted more recently. I do have the ability to reorder the stories, so sometimes a really big story will stay at the time, and newer stuff will go underneath.

Throughout the day, I try to keep fresh news up on the site. That means working with the reporters on anything they may have, and reporting and writing up anything I find. After I leave in the afternoon, night web producer Kim Bui takes over and can post any updates.

Sometimes we'll post stories in the "Latest from the newsroom" section that will run in the next day's paper. Example: A man was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing a SLO woman three years ago. You don't want to wait to read about it the next day, so we posted it to our Web site immediately.

But on Tuesday, we posted the same story under the "Today's headlines" section of the homepage. That's where all the local stories from The Tribune go. The problem - yesterday's web update was still on the homepage. Well, I'm trying my best to find you some new updates so that one will bump off. But because I can't create the news, there's not always enough to go into that section. Sure, I can post upcoming events or some minor happenings. But that's usually when I hear from you guys: "Slow news day??" "This is breaking news??"

I'm doing my best to give you fresh content that's also worth your time. So sometimes you may see two of the same stories on the homepage. Or a story from yesterday is still up there because there hasn't been enough new news to bump it off. Or there may be a really boring item that you don't think is worthy of being on the homepage.

OK, that's all I've got for now. I hope I've answered some of your questions. And as always, let me know if there's anything else about the Web site that you're curious about.


David said...

Hi Larissa:

If you are looking for fresh news to follow up on, you might try checking www.uncoveredslo.com , a new local website that is offering vigorous reporting on issues other local media has overlooked or ignored.

The Tribune might look to it for inspiration or direction for its own print version or web efforts.

David Ciaffardini

Anonymous said...

And then check out David Ciaffardini's most recent blog post from September 2005.

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