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Welcome to the professional Web blog of Ryan Olson, online content editor and writer for the Enterprise-Record newspaper located in Chico, Calif. Here, I will post the latest updates on my professional career or comments on journalism in general.

Thanks for visiting. Take a look around, try the site feed and tell me what you think. ryan -at- rtomedia.com.


Monday, October 23, 2006

New position, new frontiers

Back when I was a senior in college, I went to a job fair in Orange County seeking a lead on my first job in the newsroom.

As I was going through the rounds, it becomes obvious there are some things that I just didn't have -- an internship at a daily newspaper, fresh clips, etc.

After some so-so interviews, I come to a table where the editor reads over my resume and some clips. He noticed my Internet experience -- interim online editor at the Guardian, working for SMART Marketing Technologies, etc. He pointed to it and said, "You should really emphasize this" noting that newsrooms will need more and more people with that type of experience.

Since then, I was more focused on other aspects of the newsroom -- reporting, copy editing and pagination. The Internet was still on my plate at The Daily Mining Gazette when I helped produce the Web edition and provided assistance to the other reporters in the newsroom.

That brings me to 2006 and the realization that the editor was correct. Since starting at the Enterprise-Record in Chico, it became pretty apparent that there was a lot of work that could be done to improve the Web site and the paper's online efforts.

After helping with some parts of the Web site, including launching occasional blogs to cover news events, I was promoted in September to the newly created position of online content editor.

With just over a month under my belt, the new position is presenting new opportunities and challenges to the newsroom and myself. Moving ahead, I hope to help further bridge the gap between newsprint and the Internet.

Considering that the commercial Internet over 10 years old, the window to make a strong impression has never seemed more tantalized and urgent. In any given market, newspapers have the deepest staff to go forth and seek the news. Newspapers are often in the best position to be a dominant player in the online market in certain categories, like providing local news to readers.

We've already revamped our photo galleries, launched podcasts and increased the amount of breaking news on the site. This week, we launched the newspaper's most comprehensive election coverage ever -- with candidate video clips and full audio interviews with candidates.

These are exciting times. I hope to help move the Enterprise-Record forward so we can keep the public informed.

Site copyright 2004-05, Ryan Olson
Material from The Daily Mining Gazette copyright 2001-2004, Ogden News Publishing of Mich.
Material from Enterprise-Record copyright 2005, MediaNews Group.
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