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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Join The Saratogian Community Advisory Board: Be a media mogul

One of the things I love about working at The Saratogian is that readers care about both the community and their hometown newspaper. And one of things I find both exciting and challenging about journalism is focusing on the news, not the paper.
That’s where you come in.
I am forming a new Saratogian Community Advisory Board. I’m looking for people who care about the community and their newspaper and who find and share news the way most people do nowadays —  digitally.
As with advisory boards of the past, members should represent a cross-section of our community, with a variety of interests and backgrounds.
I welcome people with ideas and opinions about what The Saratogian ought to cover, how it might be more engaged with readers and what our priorities should be for the coming year. News, features, sports are all fair game.
The board will focus in part on the basics of journalism: breaking news, features and watchdog reporting. We’ll look at writing, editing, photography, video and the use of social media. We broach ethical issues and share how coverage decisions and editorial positions are made.
This will not be a forum for people to wax nostalgic about traditional print journalism, but rather a place for people who value hometown journalism in a digital world.
The other day I was given a peek at how the newsroom in Syracuse has leaped into that digital world. A friend and former staffer, now an editor at The Post Standard, offered a tour of their new digs in a renovated bank building that now boasts the name
“Welcome to the Apple store,” she said of the relaxed open-air layout, floor-to-ceiling windows, long stretches of tables and comfy seating areas. Staffers worked quietly on laptops at whatever work station they chose. There is more paper on my desk at this moment than the entire main floor of
Maybe an advisory board could advise me on scrapping my scraps of paper.
Your time commitment would be a 90-minute monthly meeting, probably on the third Wednesday or Thursday of the month. The time of day would be based on participants’ preference.
In between meetings, you would have homework, such as critiquing online coverage and the newspaper’s Facebook page or developing suggestions for better coverage of your areas of special interest. The board will meet with me and other staff members.
By the way, I still value the opinions of former advisory board members, some of whom I still see and hear from. Past members are welcome to re-apply. But it’s definitely time to grow the Saratogian’s cadre of consultants.
Still interested?
Email me at with your name, contact info, town, age (give or take), areas of special interest, Twitter handle if you’re a user, and, in a sentence or two, a little about yourself and why you’d like to be a Saratogian Community Advisory Board member.
Also let me if you’re generally available on the third Wednesday or Thursday of the month, and what time of day is best for you.
I look forward to being inundated by potential participants.
Barbara Lombardo is managing editor of The Saratogian. Her blog, Fresh Ink, is on Readers may email her at


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