Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Herald's "ambitious new Internet project"

UPDATED at 5:15pm: Jim Mullin emails Random Pixels to say that one of the Herald execs involved in this project contacted him by phone this morning to ask - belatedly - if he'd "be interested in participating."

You may have missed it, but Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal penned a somewhat interesting column for Sunday's Issues and Ideas section.

In his usual dry-as-sawdust prose, Gyllenhaal talked about a meeting Herald execs had five months ago with an "unlikely group of South Florida editors and publishers" to, in Gyllenhaal's words, talk about "an ambitious new Internet project involving The Miami Herald and a cross-section of partners from traditional papers and start-ups, print and online sites."

Gyllenhaal describes the project: "The idea is to mix the long-standing traditions of community journalism -- neighborhood news, schools reporting, municipal coverage, profiles, columns and letters -- with growing modern digital tools. Most importantly, this string of online sites hopes to make full use of the exchange with readers that modern journalism is becoming."

I was curious which newspapers were invited - since Gyllenhaal didn't name names - and as the Herald has long ignored many of South Florida's alternative and community papers in the past ... except when it wants to "borrow" story ideas.

Random Pixels asked the editors of three of Miami's most widely read and influential papers if they attended the meeting.

Here's what I found:
  • Jim Mullin, editor of the monthly Biscayne Times told me by phone yesterday he was not invited. When I asked him what he thought of the snub he responded: "I'm not sure what to think."

  • Chuck Strouse, editor of the alt-weekly Miami New Times replied jokingly by email: "The bastards never invite me anywhere. Maybe it's my breath?"

  • Michael Lewis, editor of the weekly Miami Today responded by email: "[I] did not attend. I honestly don’t remember being invited, but I might have been. Memories are short."
  • So there you have it. Looks like the Herald's "ambitious new Internet project" is off to a great start.

    You can hear Gyllenhaal talk about the project in the video below.

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