Arkansas News Bureau columnist John Brummett unleashes a grouchy jeremiad against these dang kids and all their goldarn technology today, but the old codger sneaks in a little newsy teaser for you Arkansas media watchers out there.
Brummett writes that the arkansasnews.com website will soon be undergoing an overhaul, “shiny and new with bells and whistles,” and that he’ll be back to blogging. (Some may recall that Brummett dipped a toe into the blogging waters during the 2007 legislative session, but soon backed away, unfortunately.)
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I’ve long thought that the Arkansas News Bureau would benefit from a stronger web presence (the current site seems frozen around 1999 in terms of design and functionality). With the many Stephens properties in Arkansas, it makes sense to create an aggregated site that pulls the content together.
But if the new site has all these “bells and whistles” and blogging tools—which have a way of being time and labor intensive—will the bureau have enough personnel to use them effectively? Especially given the cutbacks in personnel they’ve undergone recently?
Consider the Politics in Arkansas blog that the bureau launched a few months back. This blog started off looking like a promising venture, with first-hand reports from reporter Aaron Sadler from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Since then it’s been little more than a parking place for early drafts of tomorrow’s news stories. Will the new website be better executed?
We’ll be watching to see how this shapes up.
Update: Max Brantley over at the Arkansas Times blog offers up a glimpse at how his paper has gradually embraced web strategies and new media tools.