Blogs > Tell the Editor

A conversation between readers and the editor of The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio

Friday, June 25, 2010

Talking about Lorain's new news future on WCPN 90.3 FM

Listen in as WCPN Sound of Ideas host Dan Moulthrop interviews me about The Morning Journal's Ben Franklin Project here:
The six and a half minute interview starts at the 34:44 minute mark.
Or, click the download button and get the podcast on your computer.
Clicking the video button will play the show on video.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We've got a whole new world of news for you

When you hear "TV," you think video, and when you hear "newspaper" you might think print, but think again.
This week, the local TV news was getting its video from this newspaper.
That's because The Morning Journal now delivers the news "digital first." We report breaking news to you right now, online, with photos and video, at and via Twitter and Facebook.
Our court reporter, Kelly Metz, was in the courtroom Monday with her Flip video camera running when convicted killer Neil Simpson approached the jury in the sentencing phase of his trial to make a statement, but spit at them instead. Deputies immediately grabbed him and hustled him out of the courtroom.
Kelly rushed back to the newsroom and we posted her video and story of the incident on our website. No other news organization had captured the scene that Kelly had. Some hours later, a local TV station asked for permission to use Kelly's video, giving The Morning Journal credit, and we agreed.
The "digital first" initiative is something we are doing along with all our sister papers in Journal Register Company under the direction of CEO John Paton who is literally re-inventing the newspaper business for the 21st century.
That kind of change can be hard to grasp if I'm just talking to you about it. But when you see a TV station running a video that has The Morning Journal's name on it, that video is worth a thousand words of explanation.
Every one of our reporters carries a video camera at all times, and we bring you the news right now, digital first, and fast, online and then later, slower, in print with the context and analysis that print provides best.
Involving our readers in coming up with story ideas, facts, photos and video, especially for our July 4 edition, is another huge facet of what we're doing. Check it out, and jump in to the new world of news The Morning Journal is bringing to you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can't help but brag a little tonight ....

The Morning Journal was named the best newspaper in Ohio on Friday in the Ohio Excellence in Journalism competition sponsored by the Cleveland Press Club. The award came in the category for newspapers of 100,000 or less circulation.
The judges commented, "The Journal wears proudly its commitment to news of local government and crime, with flashes of enterprise. The work of busy reporters competes for space on active section fronts, putting the local news front and center. Sports sections are ample and bright. Big, multi-layer headlines and good photo display are inviting." 
The Morning Journal's sports staff won second place in the best section competition. The judges noted, "From high school to the pros, an excellent effort that has everything a local sports fan could want."
The awards were presented in a ceremony held in downtown Cleveland.
The Morning Journal's sister paper in Lake County, The News-Herald, won first and second place for online features in the new media competition, as well as taking second-place awards in the daily newspaper photography competition for spot news and general news photos. Both newspapers are published by Journal Register Company.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sample the new "Cooking Easy" blog

Cooking Easy debuts in the Community Media Lab with recipes for Hawaiian Hamburgers and Easy Fruit Dip. Check back often for more delicious and easy-to-make recipes featured by food blogger Deb Brady of Elyria.

If you have a hobby, interest, group or town you'd like to blog about, The Morning Journal's Community Media Lab can help you get started and provide an easy to find "home" at To become part of our citizen journalism initiative, send me an e-mail at

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Help us make a newspaper - and make history - in the Ben Franklin Project

Today, we're turning to readers for help in collaborating to create a history-making July 4 edition of The Morning Journal through our Ben Franklin Project. Below this introduction, you'll find a first draft of our plan for July 4, and how readers can help us create it.
I've explained the Ben Franklin Project in detail on this blog, but to sum it up:
The Ben Franklin Project reinvents how newspapers are put together and how they relate to their readers. Instead of just receiving a printed paper, readers now are being invited to join us from the start in generating story ideas, gathering information and shaping the edition in print and online to create the most accurate, complete news report placing events in full context. All the traditional standards of journalism are upheld, including accuracy, fairness and objectivity. Also the paper and website will be created using only free tools commonly available on the Internet, rather than the expensive proprietary software that newspapers typically use.
On July 4, The Morning Journal, with the help of readers will declare independence from the fading old ways of newspaper journalism and enter a modern and more informative realm.

Now, here's our plan, created with help from readers who responded to my previous call for story ideas. The July 4 paper will contain more than just these stories, but these are our starting point:

The Morning Journal, Lorain, OH
Franklin Day July 4 story budget, first draft


1. Here comes Wal-Mart, now what? – In a low-key way, Wal-Mart is about to open its first store in Lorain, a town where voters went to the polls to deny the store entry on its first attempt several years ago.  But will job-starved Lorain finally welcome Wal-Mart, or will this strong union town refuse to shop there? What do local merchants see as the fallout for themselves.
Reporter: Rick Payerchin.
Crowdsourcing opportunities:  shoppers, union members, local merchants, the unemployed who might apply for a Wal-Mart job. Send information to

2.  Interview the mayors of Lorain & Elyria.   You are the city hall reporter of the day, what are the top three questions you have for the mayor?  Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko and Elyria Mayor Bill Grace will answer your questions about their cities.
Coordinators: Debbie Clow & Joanne Allen
Crowdsourcing  opportunities: Soliciting questions from readers online and via Facebook & Twitter, then  have each mayor respond in writing. Send suggested questions for the mayors to

3. Mr. & Ms. Most Interesting. Tell us about the most interesting local man or woman you know and what makes them special.
   Reporter: Kelly Metz
Crowdsourcing opportunities: Asking readers to name the most interesting people they know, and to provide specifics and pictures or videos to illustrate. Send your fascinating people facts and pictures to


1. Role models of success in local business: Find people who are succeeding and prospering in local business, against the overall tide of a bad economy.
Reporter: Scot Allyn
Crowdsourcing opportunities: Ask readers for examples of such people, then ask those people what advice they have for overcoming the odds. Send your suggestions and information to

1. Generations of Lorain Youth Baseball:  Create a multi-generation portrait of Lorain Youth Baseball competition and fun by tracing vignettes about grandfathers, fathers and sons who have played and been involved across the generations as coaches and league officials.
Cordinator: Colin Wilson
Crowdsourcing:  Solicit names and interviews with fathers & sons who can tell of the family tradition of involvement with Lorain Youth Baseball, as well as provide current and past photos, video and other memorabilia. Send names, information, pictures and suggestions to

1. Editorial about the Ben Franklin Project edition and how readers can continue to share in the creation of this community newspaper.

2. Letters to the editor solicited from readers on the theme of “independence” – In what ways should Lorain County, Ohio or the United States strive to become ”independent” of  ways of life, of doing business or practicing politics that currently get in the way of progress, prosperity and peace? Send your letters, including name, home address and phone number to

Historic high school memory book:  Lorain’s two high schools, Admiral King and Southview, are closed and passing into history. Next year, students from both will become the new student body of the city’s lone high school, which has been named Lorain High School. This story would ask graduates of King and Southview from years past to share their favorite vignettes of special times, best friends or inspiring teachers during the nearly half-century that the two schools dominated the local scene.
Reporter: Megan Rozsa
Crowdsourcing:  Asking grads of all ages to share their stories and high school memories across the decades at Admiral King and at Southview, share photos of friends and special teachers and other memorable school events. Submit your information and pictures to

The faces of summer fun: Reader-submitted photos, videos and vignettes sharing their special summer fun events, trips, picnics and special moments to create a community snapshot of summer fun for 2010 in the Lorain area. Submit your information and pictures to

Tom Skoch  
The Morning Journal
1657 Broadway, Lorain OH 44052
440-245-6901, ext. 536

Check out the new, improved video page

The video page at has a new look and improved features to make it easier for readers to find what they want.

The page features more videos, an improved search function and easy to navigate sections for news, feature and sports videos. There's also an election video section featuring interviews with candidates.

To check out the new video page, click here.