This week's episode of Bowie News and Views is now on YouTube in two parts. John Rouse and Burt Oliver chat with editor Ken Sain who is responsible for the Bowie Star as well as the Landover, Lanham, Largo and New Carrollton Gazettes.
Ken Sain talks about the Washington Post's commitment to community news. Community news is a profitable business, and the Post invested over $20 million in a new headquarters in Laurel, $25 million in a new press and millions of dollars in a new content management software package.
Although Bowie residents receive the print edition of the Bowie Star weekly, Sain considers the paper to be a daily news organization with frequent updates to the Gazette website. The website received 1.8 million page views and 300,000 unique visitors last month that Sain attributes to the paper's election coverage. Despite the importance of the web for up-to-date news, the weekly print edition continues to provide the majority of the revenue for the paper.
Sain acknowledged that the launch of Bowie Patch has created competition for real time Bowie news, but Sain said that he doesn't focus on being the first to publish a story. Sain said that it is important for the Bowie Star to stay true to its mission of providing the best and most comprehensive coverage of Bowie. "Our mission is not to be Bowie Patch and get the first story up," Sain declares. That answer may be technically true, but I have no doubt that Sain wants to provide the best and most comprehensive coverage AND get the scoops. The Gazette was the first of the Bowie media outlets to post a story last Saturday morning about the murder outside West Bowie Village Hall, and I have no doubt that the paper responded more quickly than it would have on a past weekend day before Bowie Patch was launched.
Sain revealed that he has had a discussion with Bowie Communications Coordinator Una Cooper about having the local media organizations coach the city to more efficiently provide information to the local media outlets, and Sain suggested that it would be helpful for the city to create a public information officer position.
Click here to see the entire Bowie News and Views YouTube collection, and click here to see the entire set of Bowie cable television YouTube videos.