Strategy and trends

Our digital gurus divulge their ‘word of the year’

During a recent call with GateHouse’s Digital Transformation Council, we asked our folks what their digital word or theme is for 2016.

Lead by Director of Digital Partnerships Penny Riordan, the group shares insight on their newsroom uses digital tools, swaps risks and failures, and serves as a test group of sorts as GateHouse experiments with different ways of getting out the news.

Here are some of the answers:

Tom Priddy @tpriddy

Spartanburg Herald-Tribune


We are still in the process of being adopted by our new official GateHouse family; and we are adopting new tools and strategies to help improve the quality of our work and increase our readership.


Erik Gliedman @recordonline

Times Herald-Record


We are planning on pushing hard with video from all corners of the newsroom this coming year. Will try and continue with higher quality edited video stories, but will increase short TOUT style video segments.


Chris Bridges @cabridges

Daytona Beach News-Journal


We have a lot of new tools and we’re still seeing what works for our market and how to integrate them into our workflow.


Stacie Hidek @sghidek

Wilmington StarNews


Bringing together all the new tools, strategies, roles to work together.


Nick Hughes @PoconoNHughes

Pocono Record

Video Enhancement

2016 will see a huge dedication into higher quality video. We’ll experiment with all categories of video and how they will generate interest.


Kevin von Gillern @kvongillern

Columbus Dispatch


How do we handle sideways traffic and get at least one more click out of them?


Nicole Simmons @Digital_Nicole

Regional Digital Editor for GateHouse Media New England


My sense is people are a bit down in the dumps, feeling shackled to print, low morale, that sort of thing. What can we do to get them thinking digital first, feeling excited, experimenting, etc.? The rest will hopefully follow.


Carrie Wise @WiseJournalist

Columbus Dispatch

Breaking news

We want people to think to come to us 24/7 and we want to serve them that content.


Adam Gerik @ofadam

Peoria Journal Star


We’re destroying our current beat structure.


As for me, mine was “interaction” — through social, through our story pages, and IRL through reader advisory boards. I’ve known some editors and reporters who loved the privacy newsrooms of yore used to provide. And I get why — we tend to generate some pretty passionate readers, and interaction can get intense.

But as the mediums we use to communicate evolve, increased interaction is inevitable. And I love that. In 2016, one of our top editorial goals at GateHouse is finding new and creative ways to mingle with our viewers. Using social media to find those inroads is obvious, but a lot of our editors are also investing precious time in face-to-face — which has kind of gone by the wayside as other digital solutions have presented themselves.

Still, face-to-face can be extremely valuable, and worth the effort. Take a look at an approach from Mark Baldwin, the Executive Editor of the Rockford Register Star in Illinois:

“The Register Star last year began taking the editorial board on the road at least once aAR-150629486 quarter to meet with the public. We’ve typically worked with neighborhood associations or other community groups to put them together.
These road shows give members of the public the chance to talk about issues that matter most to their neighborhoods and to pose questions to the board. They’ve been very well-attended.”

Mark said they’ve gotten ideas for editorials and news stories through these meetings, as well as connecting with new segments of their readership.

So, what’s your digital word or theme this year? Shoot me your thoughts at

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