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Wired, tired, or mired?

On arriving in my office each morning, I check my overnight e-mail, including the usual bundle of provocative posts from my NCEW NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers  colleagues to the listserv. I read "Today's Papers," an e-mail summary of what's making news around the nation. I scan the overnight messages to Currents, my newspaper's online public discussion forum. I take at least a glance, and often a much more careful look, at what has popped up on a variety of news, politics, and culture Web sites: CNN CNN
 or Cable News Network

Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world.
 Interactive, MSNBC MSNBC Microsoft/National Broadcasting Company , Slate, Salon, Suck (good for a laugh), The Seattle Times, The American Reporter The American Reporter is the first online-only newspaper. Started in 1995 by current Editor-in-Chief Joe Shea. It is published seven days per week as an electronic daily newspaper and is owned by the writers whose work it features. .

At various times later during the day and throughout the week, I'll post our own editorials to our newspaper's Web site, and a few provocative questions (I hope) to the discussion forum; consult NCEW's home page for information resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.

(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT.
 for an editorial I'm writing; download cartoons and illustrations from a syndicate; surf over to the International Lyrics Server to find the words to a Beatles tune for a column I'm writing (my boss, fortunately, limits such citations to one per year); and, of course, delete a whole lot of spam.

Is the Internet changing the way we do our jobs? No doubt about it.

Far more difficult is the question: What are we, as opinion writers, going to do about it? As the views in this month's Masthead mast·head  
1. Nautical The top of a mast.

2. The listing in a newspaper or periodical of information about its staff, operation, and circulation.

 Symposium suggest, nobody's got a lock on the answer.

I'm not among those who would suggest that we just sit back and surrender the online world to the Matt Drudges, the teen chat rooms, and the Leonardo DiCaprio fan sites. On the other hand, I think all of those electronic endeavors have something to teach us about how and why the Internet works.

The fact is, newspaper editorial pages are the original interactive mass medium. We know how to engage readers, energize en·er·gize  
v. en·er·gized, en·er·giz·ing, en·er·giz·es
1. To give energy to; activate or invigorate: "His childhood
 communities, inspire resolve, and push for solutions; we've been doing it for decades. We ought to be the first to seize this new technology, to exploit its advantages and compensate for its shortfalls. Instead, editorial staffs too often are among the last to get involved in new media, leaving that task to the newsroom or, worse yet, the marketing department.

Sure, the technology can be complicated and intimidating - but a lot less so than European unity, welfare reform, or the politics of the local sewer board. And those we tackle with relish. We're leaders, not followers. We certainly shouldn't be foot-draggers.

One of this journal's great strengths is the fact that it's a team effort. I'm beginning to discover, to my great delight, just how large and valuable that team really is.

In addition to NCEW's officers and the many contributors listed on the contents page, thanks go to the following members for their suggestions, criticisms, and encouragement during the birthing of this issue: Bob Barnard of Louisville, Ky.; Jim Boyd of the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Colleen Burns of The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.; Joann Byrd of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Maura Casey of The Day in New London, Conn.; Paul Davies of the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon; Fred Fiske of The Post-Standard in Syracuse; D. Michael Heywood of The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash.; Rick Horowitz of Milwaukee, Wis.; John Kanelis of the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas; Nancy Q. Keefe of Gannett Suburban Newspapers in White Plains, N.Y.; Mark Mathes of Tribune Media Services Tribune Media Services ("TMS") is a syndication company owned by the Tribune Company.

The company is divided into two divisions, "News and Features" and "Entertainment Products".
 in Chicago; Susan Nielsen of The Seattle Times; Rose Simmons of the Asbury Park Press The Asbury Park Press is the major daily newspaper in Monmouth and Ocean counties of Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has third largest circulation in the state.[2]  in New Jersey; and probably others whom I've neglected to include but whose contributions are nonetheless appreciated. Thanks also to Brian O'Hanlon of Media Information Tours of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of

The Masthead would only benefit if the list were longer still. Please send your ideas and comments to me at, or give me a ring at 360/699-6006, ext. 2342. And welcome to the team.
COPYRIGHT 1998 National Conference of Editorial Writers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:newspaper publications' adoption of Internet technology
Author:Zuzel, Michael
Publication:The Masthead
Date:Jun 22, 1998
Previous Article:Why NCEW? Because of excellence.
Next Article:Opinion pages fail to stake their online claim.

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