Dispatching a good idea
There's seriously interesting stuff going on at the Daily Dispatch. If you're interested in how print media and online media can intersect and benefit from each other's strengths, then check out the newly relaunched Dispatch website as well as their family of blogs, including Dispatch Now 24/7.
Andrew Trench, the deputy editor and a serious blogaholic, outlines a recent "story experiment" in a blog posting titled, Old journalism the new way. In it, he outlines they way they covered a story about car guards in East London by using their blogs and website to generate content.
As with all online operations at South African newspapers, resources are tight. Andrew says that there is a full team of three at the Dispatch. But they're still managing to do something clever by thinking creatively and integrating with the print newsroom.
At last year's World Association of Newspapers conference in Cape Town, the success stories we heard were from editors who had "led from the front". Just do it, they urged their fellow editors, and the rest will follow. I suspect the same thing is happening at the Dispatch.
Andrew and Jan Hennop, the online news editor, are participating and engaging with new media in new and concerted ways. And seem to be having a blast while they're at it. They blog (a lot), they respond directly to their readers, they comment on other people's blogs, and participate in online discussions. They're even asking other people what they think.
Dispatch Now made it into the top rankings on Amatomu almost on the day it launched. There's serious traffic - and serious conversation with their readers and broader communities going on.
Keep it up, guys. We're watching and learning...