Digital Discussions

Tracking Journal Register Company's Digital Transition

Would you let the audience write your lead story?

with 3 comments

Well, that’s exactly what The Daily Local in West Chester, PA did today!

Editor Andy Hachadorian received an email from Stephen M. Del Fra.

As Hachadorian says:

He sent an e-mail to me saying he was stuck in Paris. He mentioned that he kept a “diary” of sorts — something close to a blog entry. I asked him to expand it and write it first-person and ship it over.

And from there … “boom,” as Hachadorian says … the lead story was ready.

Del Fra writes:

Gazing out of the small window of my Paris hotel room, looking out over the City of Lights, I wonder how it is that I ended up here.

Seven cities in 10 days — it really sounds like an adventure. Maybe that’s exactly what I should remember it as; that is, if this excursion ever ends.

Del Fra details his business trip-turned-volcano-educed-exile including passing time with an old college friend while drinking pints near London’s Piccadilly Circus; the news that he has a new niece; and his efforts to get home to see “Little Ava Elizabeth” and how he trailed to Spain and France in hopes of finding a way home.

It’s a great example of letting the audience in to tell their stories.


Written by Jon Cooper

April 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. My gut reaction from the headline was “NO!”

    And then I recalled a similar experiment the Daily Freeman did – in 2001!

    The paper coupled the Freeman’s own news story about a man’s shooting rampage in a small village,, with a first-person account from a man who was a few feet from where the incident took place, Both were side by side in print and online, even though we were still Web babies then.

    I thought it worked beautifully.


    April 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  2. We reached out to find anyone local who was affected by the volcano and came up empty. I would have absolutely ran this out front. Whether it would have been the lead would have simply depended on what else we had on the budget.

    Stan Huskey

    April 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

  3. I can tell you one thing, the ‘audience’ loved the opportunity!

    – Steve

    Del Fra

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 am

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