NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Union visit and tour

I was invited by Jeff Ackerman, the Union Publisher, to drop by and meet his new editor Pat Butler, the new web editor Kady Guyton, and get a tour of the multimillion dollar modification to the office and printing plant. Jeff is very proud of the changes and the new working environment, with a higher ceiling and more natural light. The current building is more like a cave, with limited natural light. I also talked with Keoni Allan, his company is doing the modifications. He was proud of the work his team is doing, especially their ability to work around the staff while they are publishing the paper. The day to day work continues while his guys and gals are tearing down the old and building the new, with a lot of night shift work. New carpets, ergonomic work stations and G-5 Macs will complete the modifications. I saw some of the new G-5 Workstations in the layout department. Wow, I need one of these for my desktop machine. When the job is done, the staff will have a much improved working environment. Jeff’s hope is these changes will produce a better product for his readers. It looks like a great start.

Kady Guyton came to The Union from the Auburn Journal. She has a strong background in web development, and is making plans to start some blogs at the Union. This will provide more column space, though maybe only in the online version. The goal is a more interactive web site, with more opportunities for readers to comment on stories and issues. The final products are still works in progress, but I am looking forward to some improved reader interaction.

I only had a meet and greet with Pat Butler, so I am looking forward to a future sit down once he has more time to get comfortable in a new job, in a new community. We can be rough group to deal with, so lets give Pat a change demonstrate his vision and talent, before launching editorial attacks. He was less imposing in person than in his pictures on the editorial page. He flashed this visitor a warm smile, even though I broke into his work routine.

It was a short visit, but came away impressed with the changes underway at The Union.

Tell me what you think

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