I realize this is the biggest message I’ve ever sent out to the staff, so I’ll break it down for you:
1. Expanding food coverage
2. Redesigned section pages
4. News coverage
5. Editors changing jobs
6. Our new intern
First of all, I’m happy to announce that we’re going to be expanding our food and drink coverage, adding regular content from John Forrester, who started at the Globe on the same day as me “way back in the day.” He’s the past editor-in-chief of the Suffolk Journal, and we’re lucky to have him.
He gave us a few stories last year, ( https://blastmagazine.com/the-magazine/culturefashion/2007/03/irish-eats-shepherds-pie/ ) and I’ve been badgering him ever since.
You’ll be hearing from him soon, because John has set up a Blast meet-up on November 12 in Boston. More on that soon.
Second big announcement: I have completely redesigned the Culture page. https://blastmagazine.com/culture/
I’ll be coding variations of our Food and Entertainment pages over the next few weeks. It takes a full day to do each page, so bear with me.
Please give me feedback on this! It will be vital as I do the rest of the sections.
Third big announcement: Blast is going local. Ok, maybe not totally local. But we’ve decided to base ourselves in the Northeast U.S., where we (mostly) live. That’s mainly Boston, New York, and then Philly for our sports guys. This will not change anything in a negative way — we won’t be removing anything, but we’ll be adding something very important that ties into the fourth announcement.
Fourth announcement, Blast is covering news. You’ve seen the amazing stylings of Sachin Seth and his Terra Blog https://blastmagazine.com/terra/ as our first foray into world news coverage. It’s been an amazing success and is drawing a ton of traffic. We’ll be creating a News Page on the site and incorporating a redesigned Boston/Local page that we’ll be promoting much more (JP, take notes). We’ll also incorporate the Terra Blog, and taking World News, People, and Enterprise out of Culture, and putting them into the news section. We’ll also add our Business section, which never really took off. We’re also adding a national and legal/crime news sub-section.
We’re not just going to cover news for the sake of covering news. We’re taking specific topics like cyber crime, privacy law cases, and topics that appeal to our Generation Y audience. For example: https://blastmagazine.com/the-magazine/technology/2008/10/fbi-major-cyber-attacks-in-the-rise/
And we’ll have a few new contributors to announce next month and at the meeting that are looking forward to tackling this section.
This is a big deal for Blast, because we always wanted to have a NEWS component that was separate from the magazine, and now we have it.
Going forward, it’s very important to push the concept of three totally different components to BLAST. There’s “The Issue” and “The Magazine” — our monthly content and regularly updated push content in our sections. There’s “The Blogs” — controlled directly by the writers. And “The News” which straddles the line between both.
The next announcement is that we’re realigning our editors. — Just bear in mind that this doesn’t mean that anyone is limited to only working within their sections. We all write everything, and we all help each other out.
Bessie King, who added culture and fashion to her repertoire when Dan Peleschuk went to Ukraine, will become the Culture Editor on November 1. She will oversee Culture, Fashion, Beauty, Politics, Automotive, Art, Love, Sex, Book Reviews and Travel in this diverse, vital section of the magazine. She will also be the editor in charge of our new “Literary” section ( https://blastmagazine.com/the-literary ) which takes original and public domain literature and features it for our readers.
Terri Schwartz will be elevated to Entertainment Editor on November 1. Terri proved herself after covering E3 and Comic-Con for Blast in California. She’s already built up a network of connections and recruited new writers, who you’ve seen this month. She will oversee Music, Movies, Celebrities (including an upcoming Celeb Gossip blog, shhhh, it’s still a secret) and that “Twilight” page that gets SO MANY freaking hits and comments, it’s not even funny. In her capacity, she is doing a ton of work with opinion pieces and reviews, so she will be contributing to the Technology section as well by helping out managing some of the video game reviews.
Joe Sinicki remains Technology Editor. This section is one of our main draws, and we’re hesitant to make any changes. I will say that we’ve flirted with the idea of making Technology more of a science and hard tech section and pulling video games and video game reviews into their own section. That’s not happening right now though.
Liz Raftery is still second in command. She’s the ace in the hole; one of the best writers and reporters I’ve ever worked with. Even the editors have to go through her when they want to put something on the cover. She’s also responsible for Enterprise, The Blast Interview, and we’re working her into News.
Micah and Perry are still sports. Though I’m sure they’d rather be in charge of world news.
That leaves me. In addition to the design and coding, I managing the staff and oversee Tech and Sports. I also manage the blogs, Food, Retro, Shoebox, and I will take point on News until someone takes it off my hands.
The rough, loose reporting structure has Terri and Bessie reporting to Liz for copy editing and guidance and Joe and Micah/Perry reporting to me.
That is just meant to give you a general overview of how a story goes from reporting to live on the site. Two sets of eyes need to see any non-blog post before we post it.
Last but not least, Blast took on an intern this semester. Liz McClendon is a student at Virginia Tech. She’s especially interested in Twilight and Literature, so she’ll be adding to The Literary and will be a big part of our News coverage going forward.
We’ve had a great few months, and the things we’re putting into place are going to take Blast to the next level.
And it’s all because of you.