Goshen News, Goshen, IN

TGN Bloggers

May 2, 2014

Newsroom leaps digital divide with enthusiasm

For the past 10 months, I’ve been steering Team TGN, the digital department of The Goshen News.

We’ve moved from posting only articles and photos onto our website, www.goshennews.com, to creating a multimedia experience for our readers. And we’re continuing to learn and improve.

I’ve got to say, our reporters and editors have really embraced what I’ve thrown at them.

They are tweeting, Facebooking and posting video to YouTube and Tout. Staffers have also learned how to best use their smartphones for work and can report live from a scene.

Our sports department even has a weekly podcast.

I’m proud of all of them.

Digital never rests, though. More changes are coming. Online readers, mark your calendars for August and send positive thoughts my way for the next few months. I think you will like where we are headed.

But for the moment, let me give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the things we’ve accomplished.

The majority of our staff is 30 and older. Let’s just say a good chunk of us could have been possibly playing the original Pac Man in high school.

I’m a bit of a geek and like techie gadgets, so a smartphone and a tablet have been at my side for a long time. Other members of our staff — not so much.

So, to get where we needed to be digitally, we had to get our staffers accustomed to smartphones and a few new apps.

Armed with iPhones, our sports reporters led the charge into the Twitterverse. They started Tweeting live action from games. Greg (@gkeim_TGN) and David (@dvantress_TGN) are now masters of the 140-character Tweet.

I also asked them to start a weekly online sports show. Two sports guys being forced to talk sports and get paid for it?! Duh, of course they were all for it. TGN Sports Roundtable is now in its 28th episode. I am not even a sports person and I find their talk show fun to listen to.

Greg always comes up with some interesting sports nuggets or behind-the-scenes story.

Take a listen. It goes up on our website at about 11 a.m. each Thursday.

Our photojournalist, Sam Householder, is in the younger than 30 category and likes techie stuff, too. That’s why I grabbed him to be on my digital team, which also consists of Daniel Riordan, our night editor.

Besides helping me in development, Sam hosts our Athlete Spotlight video series and creates a chunk of our multimedia projects, including slideshows, videos and SmugMug.

Check out his video series on our YouTube channel, TheGoshenNews.

One of my most recent additions has been livestream video. It’s not something that we have to use often, but now it’s there. Before we introduced it to the world, though, I had to do some testing. That testing was me reading news and looking at my monitor to see if it was livestreaming.

If you want a good chuckle, click on the LiveStream feed and then UStream. You can find it in the video archives. I’m the one with the big, curly hair who kind of talks sideways out of her mouth.

I invite you to take a look around at our digital products and tell me what you think. What else would you like to see offered?

Our website is www.goshennews.com. You can find our e-edition there, as well as Twitter and Facebook feeds, our livestreaming and YouTube channels, plus bloggers.

To follow The Goshen News on Twitter, search for @YourGoshenNews. Each one of our reporters also has an account. Look for them under _TGN.

On Facebook, just type in The Goshen News under the search and “Like” us.

And our YouTube channel is TheGoshenNews.

You can email your suggestions to me at sheila.selman@goshennews.com.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.