Happy New Year from the Cobb County Courier

Independence Day fireworks in New Year articleFireworks in San Jose (photo by I, Ikluft [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons)

Happy New Year everyone!

We hope you have a fantastic 2019.

Here at the Courier we’re launching 2019 with a revamped editorial and business plan.  Here’s a brief description published in our last newsletter, which I’ve slightly edited to take the references to the pre-Christmas timeline out.  It’s our rough equivalent of a New Years resolution.

You might have noticed that we haven’t updated over the past week.

I’ve been spending what is normally a slow news period to prepare for the coming year.  The Courier started out as a personal project of mine to get some practice editing and publishing while I finished a late-life journalism degree.

By the time I graduated I’d begun hiring freelance reporters to keep the content fresh, and decided to build the Courier into a full-fledged news site.

The way I’ve scheduled articles has been a bit haphazard as I experimented and tried to figure out what topics Cobb County readers are interested in, and while I set up an ad sales program so that I don’t go broke before our readership has grown.

I decided that rather than spend the holidays continuing at the level we’ve been operating on, a better use of time was to hunker down for some serious planning of the next year’s calendar, and to work out a schedule for selling local ads.

Here are some of the things in the new plan:

More restaurant profiles, particularly new restaurants.  Readers seem to love them, judging by the traffic they draw.

Coverage of more cities within Cobb.  At the moment we regularly cover Cobb County government and the Smyrna City Council.  I’d like to add coverage of Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, and Powder Springs.

Earlier and more in depth election coverage.  We put a great deal of time and effort into candidate profiles for the midterms, but I’d like to ramp that up to become a really useful source of information for voters.

More focused coverage of the criminal justice system.  Crime stories are a bread-and-butter subject for the news media, but beyond reporting on high-profile crimes, I’d like for our coverage to reflect what stories involving the police and courts really mean to the citizens of Cobb County.

More education coverage.  We’re covering every board of education meeting for both Marietta and Cobb County schools now. I’d like to expand that in the future.

Increased local ad sales.  I’ve got a pretty good system in place for running ads, but my attention span has been pulled back and forth between producing content and selling ads.  I need to strike a better balance so the Courier is sustainable in the long run.

Once again: Happy New Year!

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