Unexpected BANG at Bay Area News Group

As the only English major (or Liberal Arts student) on the trip, I looked forward to learning about The Bay Area News Group (BANG) at The Mercury News and meeting with personal tech columnist, Troy Wolverton. However, I did not expect to meet with Marisa Kendall the start-up reporter at the newspaper and the Executive Editor, Neil Chase. We had a crash course in why the newspaper business is crashing and a detailed description of what action The Mercury News is taking in order to innovate journalism and stay in the game. We were not expecting to gain this perspective, but I believe it is important to see just how newspapers are interacting with readers in multiple platforms.

“What’s the best way to tell this story?” was repeated many times during our meeting and has become a mantra prompting whether a story needs a long-form presence, a video, a live google map, a 360 degree photo, etc.. The Mercury News decided that the Oakland Fire which occurred recently needed to be reported quickly on the website but also in long form in the newspaper and in individual profile stories of the victims – this is an example of a story that needed to be told in multiple ways to serve the global community and local community. This technique also prompts the reporters to think fast and get the story out to readers as soon as possible. Many initiatives have been taken by The Mercury News to serve the community and remain a presence both globally and locally in San Jose such as AdTaxi and LeadHax.

Troy Wolverton as a tech columnist attended last week’s CES, the largest tradeshow in the world, in Las Vegas. He reported through online articles and Facebook Live on the up and coming technology products of 2017. Check out Troy’s column to learn more about the show and his commentary: Tech Files. Overall, I learned so much more than I anticipated and I greatly appreciated that Troy, Neil, and Marisa took time out of their day to speak with us.