Just letting the readership know they can check out two new elements on the Mercury website:
- "Merc Mailbag" is a blog of letters- (read: emails-) to-the-editor. We needed that place where we could put information that was not quite a press release but wasn't really news either--volunteering opportunities, for instance, or the band booster information. The unfortunate first was a correction to one of our stories, but it was a perfect example: a comment on that story written by the email writer would have gone unread by most people, as would the corrections we made. A blog where the correction gets the attention it deserves is just the ticket.
- "Honors&Awards" is our new Schools subsection. The stories we put here will be just what the subsection sounds like: the awards, honors, certificates, and recognitions received by students in the county--from public, private or home schools. If your student won something, we want to hear about it!
Contact the editor, Steve Thurston, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 703-594-NEWS (6397).
Every now and again, someone asks me why we don't have ads yet on our site, or how--just how--we're making money. The short answer: we're not.
The longer answer was summed up rather nicely by the good people at the Poynter Institute, a journalism training center in Florida. Their story highlighted the plight of the Merc among others. It's nice to make national news; we just wish it were better national news.
Finally, it was nice on Wednesday to get our first real scoop, the departure of Peter Katz, the county's director of planning. The story was thanks to a tip from a reader--thank you!