CNHI has announced an expanded news leadership structure aimed at enhancing content quality, audience engagement and collaboration among its more than 100 newspapers.MORE
Shortly after he was tapped to oversee Community Newspapers Holdings Inc. publications in Georgia and Florida last year, Jim Zachary devised an investigative project that would bring the best reporters under his watch together as one collaborative team.
The result was the SunLight Project, launched this January, which intends to shine a light on important issues facing CNHI's readers in Georgia and Florida. Participating newspapers include The Valdosta Daily Times, The Dalton Daily Citizen, the Milledgeville Union-Recorder, The Moultrie Observer, the Tifton Gazette and the Thomasville Times-Enterprise in Georgia, along with the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press in Florida.
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It began with a phone tip to The Galveston County Daily News.
"Early on Friday morning we got a call from a person who we know as a source and who trusts us that there were going to be gunshot casualties coming to an area hospital and that they were coming from the high school in Santa Fe," said Editor Michael Smith.
"This is somebody that we know absolutely to be a credible source and was in a position to know. We started mobilizing the staff from there, sending people to the emergency room and to the school. We were there shortly after the first responders."
Since then, the local paper with a staff of five news reporters, three photographers and an IT person who used to be a photographer has been covering the mass shooting alongside the Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other large news organizations. "It's been all Santa Fe, all the time for the last few days," Smith said.More
Two weeks after 17 people died in the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., Julie Anderson joined the South Florida Sun Sentinel as editor-in-chief. In her first conversation with her managing editor, Anderson asked how the staff was doing.
"Really be mindful that your reporters and your editors are going to be traumatized," Anderson said. "Maybe not all of them, but they're first responders, too."
She offers the following tips to other newspapers that have to deal with school shootings and other mass casualty events:More