As newspapers and other traditional print media outlets make their way through the online atmosphere, it’s important to take time out to navigate the landscape and learn how to bridge the gap between your online and offline audiences. No one knows this better than George Kelly, online coordinator at the Contra Costa Times (a Bay Area News Group daily newspaper) in Walnut Creek, CA. Recently, I had the chance to talk with George about these topics and learn more about his storied history in journalism as a digital jack-of-all-trades.
Maurice Cherry: Tell our 10,000 Words audience a little about what you do.
George Kelly: I’m the online coordinator at the Contra Costa Times, a Bay Area News Group daily newspaper, in Walnut Creek, California. Originally, I was supposed to moderate forums and photo albums, train and coach co-workers on blogging, create polls, initiate and host live chats, offer print teasers to online content, update some site elements, work with editors on reverse publishing, and consult on special projects. I still do a lot of that, along with some other tasks, such as advice on daily-buzz stories and trends at daily budget meetings, and compiling weekday evening news summaries.
I was born in Washington, D.C., so I started out in journalism as a fan of the comic pages in the Washington Star. When I got older, I had a Washington Post paper route in Silver Spring, MD. Editing the Spectrum, the student newspaper at Bowie State University, helped me land a Chips Quinn Scholar internship at the Oakland Tribune in the summer of 1994. I’ve lived and worked in the Bay Area since then as a reporter, copy editor and page designer.