December 7, 2012

Editor says newspaper has evolved with the times


The Kiwanis Club of Dalton

— The Internet has created a need for immediacy, not just in everyday life, but also in how the news is delivered.

“The way people are getting their news is changing,” Jamie Jones, co-city editor of The Daily Citizen, told members of the Kiwanis Club of Dalton recently. “They want it now, they want it accurate, they want it on their iPhone and on their iPad, on their Twitter page.”

He explained that a lot has changed. Dalton’s local newspapers date to 1847. During most of their history and under a variety of names, they were published weekly or maybe twice a week.

In 1962, The Dalton News and The Dalton Citizen, both edited at the time by Mark Pace, formed The Daily Citizen-News, a five-day-a-week afternoon newspaper. Over a few years, Saturday and Sunday morning editions were added. And a short time later, the weekday newspapers were switched to morning delivery.

“News” was  eventually dropped from the newspaper’s name, but the Kiwanians were assured “we still have a lot of news in there,” Jones said with a laugh.

In addition to the daily newspaper, the publishers of our local newspaper also produce several magazines. Jones is editor of Dalton Magazine, which comes out every other month. They also produce Catoosa Life and Calhoun Magazine.

The newspaper has four departments: Advertising, composing, circulation and the newsroom.

In the newsroom, “We have three different reporters now covering three different beats.”  Charles Oliver is the city reporter, Rachel Brown has “cops and courts” and Christopher Smith covers education. Two news editors design the newspaper and put it together. The sports department has an editor and two reporters. And there are two photographers.  

Jones explained that the popular “Forum” in the newspaper started out as a “Question of the Day.” Readers were asked to call in and voice opinions on a particular question each day.

“Then one day one of our former editors couldn’t figure out a question so he said, ‘Call and talk about whatever you want to,’” Jones said. “And let me tell you they do.”

He added that the newspaper receives “probably around 100 calls a day” in addition to

“around 50 or so are submitted electronically through emails or our website.”   

Questioned about the digital edition of The Daily Citizen, Jones said, “It is a complete replica of the print edition of the newspaper and also a lot of special sections that we do.”

“If you’re a subscriber that comes free with the paper,” he said. “All you have to do is call our customer service department and they can sign you up if you’re not signed up. We have people all over the world who subscribe to that because they want to keep up with the news that’s going on in Dalton.”

“Also on the electronics side, we have a texting service,” he said.

Subscribers can go to the newspaper’s website (www.daltonnow.com) and subscribe.

“We offer breaking news and a lot of times that is news right as we learn it,” he said. “You’ll be on top of everything and not have to wait for the paper the next day to know what’s going on. I would recommend subscribing to that service.”

The texting service allows subscribers to “sign up for everything” or to pick and choose.  Among the offerings are local high school football scores by quarter during the season, election results, school news and “there’s all sorts of things you can sign-up for.”