In the world of newspapers, sometimes smaller is better.
Bigger metropolitan dailies such as The News Tribune have the resources to tackle deep investigative stories and provide team coverage of big breaking news. But with 30-some reporters covering a community of a million residents, we can’t possibly cover all the interesting things happening at the neighborhood or smaller-town level.
That’s where weekly papers come in, and our sister papers, The Puyallup Herald and Peninsula Gateway, are rated among the best in the country by national journalism organizations.
We are about to enter into a closer working relationship with each of them so we can provide better coverage to readers in those communities.
Just as we do with our news partners The Olympian and KIRO-TV, we will share stories and plan joint coverage. We’ll try not to duplicate efforts so between us we can cover more stories.
The Peninsula Gateway, for instance, almost always sends a reporter to the Gig Harbor City Council meetings that occur Monday nights. Their reporter usually writes a story for Wednesday’s Gateway.
Sometimes the Gig Harbor Council makes news that would be of interest to the larger TNT audience as well. Rather than send a News Tribune reporter to the same meeting, why not take a short breaking news story from the Gateway reporter for the Tuesday morning News Tribune?
The Gateway can spend the next day working on a more in-depth story for the Wednesday Gateway, whose audience is more intensely interested in the details.
This team approach allows the TNT reporter to work on an entirely different story for our readers.
We expect the partnerships to work particularly well for covering high school sports.
The TNT’s two preps reporters, supported by a handful of freelancers, cover more than 60 high school football teams every Friday night. If the Puyallup Herald sports reporter focuses on Rogers, Puyallup, Emerald Ridge and Sumner high schools, the TNT reporters can cover games in other areas. Again, the Herald reporter might file a short game story for the Saturday TNT and then write a feature story for the following Wednesday’s Herald that sets up the next Friday night’s game.
The weeklies also will gain from the partnership. Already, the Gateway has picked up TNT coverage rather than assign a staff member to re-report the same story. Earlier this month, the Gateway ran TNT reporter Adam Lynn’s story about the Gig Harbor woman who won a lawsuit after being mauled by a pit bull. That freed up a Gateway reporter to work on another story.
The TNT photo staff recently began taking most of the pictures for The Puyallup Herald, as well.
Brian McLean, editor of the Gateway and Herald, has joined our Wednesday TNT editors meeting so we can get to know him better and really begin to coordinate coverage.
The partnership also benefits online readers. TNT headlines are beginning to appear on the Gateway and Herald websites, and their headlines appear at thenewstribune.com.
In the Local section of our home page, readers can click on a pull-down menu and elect to see news from one of 22 cities in and around Pierce County. A click on “Gig Harbor” links to a joint TNT/Gateway page filled with news, sports, an events calendar and other items specifically for those who live in Gig Harbor. A click on “Puyallup” links to a similar TNT/Herald page.
A click on any of the other 20 cities (including Tacoma) links to a page containing the latest TNT stories mentioning that community. Eventually, we plan to build out those pages with even more stories and links of interest to readers in those areas.
If you know of news happening in your community, call us at 253-597-8688 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434