Tahlequah Daily Press

August 19, 2013

Multimedia: We’re not just a ‘paper’ anymore


staff

TAHLEQUAH — A number of people have already noticed significant changes to the Daily Press over the past few weeks. But that’s just scratching the surface of the ambitious plans we have in store for our multimedia franchise.

Did the phrase “multimedia franchise” give you pause? Anyone keeping up with the rapidly-changing media industry understands an old axiom that applies so aptly today: Evolve or die.

With today’s focus on social media and other emerging forms of mass communication, a company that relies solely on a print newspaper to meet the needs of its audience is almost certain to founder. That’s true whether the market is a small town in Oklahoma, or a teeming metropolis like New York City.

While we may not be able to be all things to all people, we can be many things to many people. This is why the “multimedia” concept is so important in the 21st century.

Our print newspaper is our core product, and  the one to which traditionalists turn for information. Some changes you may have observed are on our front page, where we’re trying to shine an intense spotlight on the top story of the day with as much clarity as possible – to will catch the eye of a person strolling past a newsrack. There will still be “slow news days,” but we’re brainstorming on ways to ensure value in every edition.

For several years, we’ve been offering most staff-written stories on our website, at www.tahlequahdailypress.com. Many readers, especially younger ones and busy professionals on the go, prefer this platform. We’re proud to say we’ve won first place in the state for our website the past two years in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. But we won’t rest on our laurels; we’re making changes there, too. We’re starting to add online exclusive content, which we hope print and e-edition subscribers will find useful and interesting. And speaking of our e-edition, that’s undergone alterations in recent months. We’ve segued into a more user-friendly platform, and as new features are added, readability and ease of access will be enhanced.

A few years ago, we launched our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tdpress), and we’re closing on 7,000 “likes.” We’re moving to a more dynamic look there, with more photos with our posts, but we’ll continue to offer our twice-daily budget updates; breaking news on crime, weather, sports, and key meetings and events; polls and reader queries; links to intriguing stories on our website or others; community calendar tidbits; and promotions we’re doing. Of course, we’ll continue the popular Saturday Forum, wherein “friends” can discuss pertinent topics of the day.

And now, to augment our initial foray into the world of social media, we’ve added Twitter to the mix (twitter. com @Tahlequah TDP). Statistics show that while many older adults may be embedded in the Facebook world, the younger set is more engaged in Twitter – a way to broadcast information in “tweets” of no more than 140 characters each. That may seem restrictive to the novice, but a tweet is much more than the sum of its characters. It can include links to other sites, photos, and “tags” that, if used properly, can both gather and disseminate information in ways never thought possible just a few short years ago. Each news staff member has a Twitter account,  to keep “followers” abreast of respective beats. Collectively, we have nearly 1,250 followers.

But we’re not finished. We’ve just dipped our toes into the waters of Instagram, where we’ll be uploading (and stylizing) some of the best photos our staff members take each week. We’ll soon be introducing Pinterest boards to categorize our coverage and further profile our photos.

In today’s globalized, lightning-paced and eclectic society, consumers of information, products and services are looking for new ways to get what they want. We hope we can meet you there, in as many niches as we can. Stay tuned!