The (not so) dog days of summer

It was an exciting day at The Charlatan newsroom today. OK, maybe not at the newsroom itself, since I was the only one there (other than the mailman who popped in at one point). But nevertheless, it was exciting . . . for two reasons.

1. We managed to confirm that Down With Webster will be the headliner at Carleton University’s annual frosh week concert this year. This is a story I’ve been encouraging the news team to pursue all summer. Unfortunately, CUSA just wasn’t prepared to share this information up until now (probably because they hadn’t confirmed the act themselves). But I got wind of the news today and we have our story.

It’s important we reported on this story first because I feel like The Charlatan should be first on the scene, so to speak, with any Carleton-related news. I cringe when we have to pick up Carleton news from other media outlets. Hopefully today’s events were a sign of things to come.

2. As editor-in-chief, I want to make sure The Charlatan tries new things this year. I don’t want this newspaper to get stuck in a rut. We should always be looking to improve and push our boundaries. So far, I think we’ve done a little bit of that. Among other things, we’re currently looking for our first-ever social media coordinator. And today, I think we took another step in the right direction by publishing our first “Storify” article.

I learned about Storify after a little exchange on Twitter between Carleton journalism professor Jeff Sallot and Charlatan alumnus and journalism extraordinaire Jennifer Pagliaro. Jenn said The Globe and Mail used Storify when she was interning there, and this is a tool former Charlatan e-in-c and current Globe online editor Chris Hannay also suggested, so I figured we should try it out.

We used it in our opinions section, to show the different reactions that came as a result of the Ravens football revival announcement. I think this could be a very valuable tool for the entire paper this year, but especially the opinions section.

The publication cycle for issue three of The Charlatan begins tomorrow. With all the Ravens football and Bluesfest coverage, on top of everything else, I’m looking forward to see how this baby pans out. I’ll be sure keep you posted.

Farhan Devji
Farhan Devji is an author, journalist, and communications professional based in Ottawa. His work has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, and the Montreal Gazette. Contact him directly at fdevji@gmail.com.

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