In the months I’ve been back in my hometown and at The Herald-Sun, our readers have already given me an appropriate reality check.
We recently asked what you’d like to see more of in The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. Perhaps more coverage of politics and government. Or you’d rather see deeper reporting about racial justice and equity issues. Maybe more investigative reporting would be to your liking. Or we should add explanatory and enterprise work.
The response was readers wanted more in all of those categories. You ordered everything on the menu.
I understand your expectations. I’ve been a reader of our newspapers for about three decades, when I’ve lived here and elsewhere. Many of you who answered the survey or who have spoken with me have decades more experience with us.
Whether you’re reaching out to praise a story, to express disappointment or to congratulate me on coming home, you have some things in common: You care.
You almost always tell me how long you’ve subscribed. You tell us we are a part of you and you want more from us.
We’re going to give it to you.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, we’re unveiling a more robust Herald-Sun that will highlight deeper coverage, investigative work and stories that you can use to navigate life in North Carolina. We will have more cover stories that bring deep reporting of an issue on both Sundays and Wednesdays.
We’re not taking anything away to add this coverage. We’re adding eight pages a week to the newspaper on these days to make your reading experience better.
And we’re not just improving our print editions. Our enhanced coverage will include more explainers, extended digital video, audio, interactive maps and other related digital coverage, accessible using QR codes. The QR codes in the newspaper are designed to use in the same way as those you use to see a restaurant menu.
On our website, we’re adding features that give you a review of the week and a look ahead, more sports stories and additional news from across the state. You also will see more food, technology and health stories.
To add these features, we’re making major investments to bulk up our staff. We’ve added reporting and editing positions, including new members of our business, enterprise, statewide investigative and opinion teams.
Taking a lesson from answering your questions during the first year of the pandemic, we’re creating a new reporting team that will focus on explaining our communities and answering vital questions. We are collecting questions already through an online form and by email at email@example.com.
As we make these changes, we recognize the Triangle and surrounding counties are more diverse than they were when I first read The N&O and Herald-Sun, and we are working to ensure our coverage better reflects the lives of everyone who lives here.
We know many of you have seen our papers change through the years. We’re working hard to make sure these changes serve you and make our region better.