Friday, July 2, 2010

A new 'declaration'

It used to be, in the newspaper world, that every day gave you a new chance to produce a totally new product. In today's world, as a multimedia company, we get that chance every second of the day, as we Tweet, update our Web site, post on Facebook and, yes, produce our print edition.
Every day, it seems, we "declare" a new way to deliver the news, a new intention to speed updates your way and keep you informed of the latest developments in your communities.
Last month, we made a different type of declaration -- the Ben Franklin Project.
We vowed to make the news gathering/producing process more transparent; we vowed to ask you what YOU wanted to see covered; we vowed to ask you what questions YOU wanted to have answered by officials.
We asked you to tell your stories, to share your opinions. Social media, video, our Web site, chatting at various community gatherings, distributing old-fashioned "handbills" -- we integrated as many ways as possible to have you involved in this project from the very beginning.
And you were more than happy to respond and let us know what you wanted.
Thank you!
You'll see the results in our Sunday edition -- the beginning of what we know will be an ongoing process of having you much more involved in directing our efforts.
Our July Fourth edition will be yet another new "declaration" -- the culmination of this first stage in a never-ending Ben Franklin Project of openness and listening to the community.
You wanted to share your stories of the frustration of being unemployed -- and we were happy to also produce several "video resumes" that we hope may help you get noticed by an employer.
You redirected a project on Lansdale's revitalization to focus on the troubled Center for the Performing Arts.
You shared the challenges of being an immigrant, and how the religious community becomes a new "home" for many.
You spoke out on property taxes; shared your stories of war veterans; and chimed in on the competitiveness of youth sports. You allowed us to highlight your artistic talent and opinion pieces.
You'll see all of this -- and much more from the community -- in Sunday's edition.
On July Fourth we officially "declare" our freedom from old perceptions that we are the "gatekeeper" deciding what the public wants to read. We declare that an open partnership and ongoing conversations with the public are vital.
And we want you to know how essential you are to guiding and participating in the process.
Let us know what you think of Sunday's edition. And please, continue to be our partners as we forge ahead in this effort.

Hope to hear from you; e-mail

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