Veterans Day is an annual event, which means that in newsrooms throughout the country, editors planned (hopefully well in advance) their coverage for today and for Monday. Meetings were held with editors, reporters, designers and photographers to discuss what could be done for this year that differs from previous years.
As you’ll see from just looking at the newspapers in your own area, some of them are presenting Veterans Day stories on their front pages, playing it as the centerpiece while others are offering smaller stories at the bottom of their front page or somewhere else inside the newspaper altogether.
Online, we’re seeing photo galleries, audio slide shows or video interviews typically packaged with the print stories and maybe some bonus or “web extra” pieces, which can include lists of local veterans or additional stories and event calendars, etc.,
That’s all great, but I think we’re really missing out on an opportunity here.
Given that this is an annual event and one that as newspapers we try to vary coverage of, why are we disregarding our content from previous years? Do we believe that it has spoiled? Or have we – as I believe is more likely – simply forgotten the work we’ve already done?
I’m not suggesting that we just reprint and repost old copy with no updating or little thought. But there’s some good work in those archives and morgues. There is no reason why those pieces, can’t be repackaged and presented as part of our annual coverage. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, every year the package would grow larger and larger and the quality and depth would become more enriched and deeper.
As we in newspapers are fond of talking about the limitless amounts of space online, I suggest that here’s a chance to use some of it.