These are extremely busy and exhilarating (some may say exhausting) days for journalists in The Modesto Bee newsroom.
We're evaluating everything from our management structure to the steps we take to cover the news. We want to serve you better, and we're leaving nothing unchecked.
We know that you, our loyal readers, do not live in a vacuum. News from a seemingly limitless number of sources bombards your smart phones, computers, televisions, radios, mailboxes and doorsteps. You have more choices than ever. We want to remain at the top of the list.
Why do you turn to us? And what can we do to make our news offerings better so that you continue to turn to us? The answers to those questions are of incredible importance to me, and everyone at The Bee.
I think the first question can be answered quite simply. Readers turn to us for something they only find in small quantities elsewhere trusted local news and information from the communities we call home.
To that end, we have to sharpen our focus on what really matters: improving the breadth and quality of our local news coverage, both online and in print. The Bee provides more local news than any other source, but we have to figure out how to get it to you in the format you desire.
Most of our readers consume news and information differently today than they did even five years ago. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook have changed the game for news organizations large and small. We're boosting our offerings at modbee.com and through social media sites. When news breaks in our community, we cover it online immediately and comprehensively, even on the weekends.
If you haven't checked out Modbee.com lately, please do. I think you'll be surprised with the coverage that's offered as it happens. And expect more as we continue to refocus our online news resources.
Too many of our readers think of us just as a printed newspaper. Today, that's just one piece of what we do.
But even in 2012 and beyond, I'm bullish on the future of the print newspaper as long as we continue to adapt it to play to the format's strengths.
You might have noticed a change to our printed front pages of late. We're focusing more on local news that's written by staff members in The Bee's newsroom and less on "wire" news from far away.
We certainly haven't abandoned world and national news; a full report can be found beginning each day on page A3 and throughout the paper, and big news still makes it out to the front page when it happens. But we know you're not buying us in print to read about faraway events that often have gone stale by the time they reach your doorstep.
Another reason print readers buy us is because the format just can't be beat for succinctly explaining the events of the day. A strong print newspaper can be an "exhale" from the frenetic online news cycle. Our editors and reporters are sharpening their focus on what I like to call "enterprise" stories those that explain the back story about important events and issues.
I've spent more than three months now in the editor's chair, and I've heard from many of you about what you'd like to see in The Bee. But I'd love to have more of a dialog with readers.
As we go about this process, please do not hesitate to reach out, whether it be through e-mail or a phone call. My contact information is at the bottom of this column. I'll report back with my findings in a future column.
As always, thank you for reading The Bee.
Contact Kieta at email@example.com or (209) 578-2356 or on Twitter @josephkieta.