I received a call from a student participating in a sit-in at a local school, protesting the budget cuts and forced layoffs in their school district. I arrived shortly before the group disbanded. I was the only media official to cover the protest.
By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express | April 21, 2011 | Original source
Close to 200 high school students gathered at the Wayland-Cohocton field house at 8 a.m. Friday to send a message to local and state education officials.
Just a few weeks after my arrival as editor of the Genesee Country Express, we determined the newspaper needed a redesign and I worked collaboratively with a team from our office, assisted by a corporate task force. We accomplished the goal of transforming an outdated, cluttered design to a modern, clean look. I showcased the transition and what follows is my weekly column, introducing the new look to our readers.
A sign posted above my office desk reads as follows: “‘Because we’ve always done it that way’ are the seven last words of any organization.”
Given the state of traditional media as a whole and newspapers in particular, newspapers must be willing to adapt if we intend to survive in the 21st century. So in the three months since I took over as editor of the Genesee Country Express, we’ve made a lot of changes. This week’s edition marks the most dramatic. Continue reading Newspaper redesign→
This is one of several columns I wrote as editor of the Genesee Country Express. Here, I share a personal reflection about being a newcomer to the community and an outsider.
By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express | Sept. 30, 2010 | Original source
I read once that when we first meet people, our opinions are set within the first 30 seconds – that is, when meeting new people, we have less than half a minute to make the best first impression we can.
Yet these impressions are so often wrong. I remember one day at my first job out of college when a tall, unshaven, tattooed, leather-clad man walked into our office and asked to speak with a reporter. He had a story. Continue reading Less than a minute to decide→
Over a span of eight months, I wrote a series of 10 news stories following the discipline and firing of the CEO of the local public hospital district. In writing this series, I followed a trail of documents in two states and led the effort for my news agency to successfully counter-sue the fired CEO when he attempted to block the release of public records. The unplanned series originally started with a page 2 story, but several months later was becoming the dominant page 1 headline. This coverage not only brought praise from the local community, but the Sept. 2, 2009 story titled “Records detail ongoing payments to CEO at Lake Chelan Community Hospital” won second place in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 10 contest in the general news category for non-daily newspapers.
After my departure from the Lake Chelan Mirror, the former CEO was partially successful in a discrimination lawsuit against the hospital.
Please note this is was a series and each story is on its own page (use the numbered links below each page to navigate).