Journal is evolving with focus on new coverage - Albuquerque Journal

Journal is evolving with focus on new coverage

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.”

— Charles Kettering, inventor and businessman

The Albuquerque Journal, which traces its history to the 1880s, has torn off plenty of calendar pages and has never been afraid to look to the future.

So it was in 2021 — and so it is with 2022.

Karen Moses Editor / Senior VP News

For starters, we are ringing in the new year with a new flag topping our front page. The Journal’s eagle has had multiple looks over the years (earlier versions top this page; the new version is front and center). The bold serif Albuquerque Morning Journal flag was likely created using hot metal type. Between the World Wars, the flag was redesigned to prominently display a drawing of a stylized eagle with spread wings.

In the 1980s, the flag was redrawn and the eagle reduced in size. The eagle was further reduced and moved below the typography in the late 1990s. Most recently, the words were stacked, with different versions created for various online uses.

But, in today’s world, our subdued flag almost disappears compared to other company logos. It was tough to find the Albuquerque Journal on the Isotopes scoreboard, for example, even though we have been a major sponsor for years.

And, in the digital world, it again often got lost.

So, enter Dean Gianopoulos of Accord Creative LLC, a longtime Albuquerque agency that has designed logos for Jaynes Corporation, Hello Deli, Heads Up Landscapers and more.

His ideas regarding the Journal flag were presented to the Albuquerque Publishing and Journal teams, who came up with suggestions. What emerged is a classic, but bolder and easier-to-read, typeface and a simpler, more modern eagle that is easily reproducible for our various products and sponsorships — both in print and digital.

The new flag retains the eagle identity with a major nod to the future. So it is with the Journal itself.

This has been a year of changes — a new website that we continue to tweak and improve; the bittersweet moving of our printing process to Santa Fe, along with savings that allowed us to continue a strong, vibrant newsroom staff; an expanded Sunday Opinion section aimed at including more local voices; and a new partnership with KOAT-TV and KKOB News radio.

We saw the retirements of such valuable longtime employees as investigative reporter Mike Gallagher, whose memoirs were published in last Sunday’s Journal, and photo editor Dean Hanson and photographer Jim Thompson, who had been with the Journal a combined 70 years. Designer George Gibson, who has been with the Journal 45 years, is leaving us at the end of this month. You never saw his byline, but you saw his work on the Opinion and other pages that required a special creative genius to make the news of the day attractive and interesting.

Also leaving the newsroom is senior editor Kent Walz, who retired as editor in chief nearly five years ago after more than 35 years at the Journal. For the past four and a half years, Kent has remained on our Editorial Board, provided key legal advice, led our team of investigative reporters, and produced dozens of Face-to-Face interviews with some of New Mexico’s most prominent and/or interesting individuals. He remains one of the state’s leading champions of transparency and a valuable sounding board.

Moving ahead, we are filling Mike’s investigative reporting position — continuing to bolster the Journal’s role as a leading watchdog and defender of government transparency. We also are filling several other positions that have become vacant, as well as creating new ones with an eye to the future.

For the past year, the Journal has participated in Table Stakes — a program sponsored by the American Press Institute with an assist from the Maynard Institute. It has required a serious self-examination in how we cover and deliver news.

One of the crucial “aha” realizations was the importance of attracting new and diverse audiences beyond our traditional readers. With that in mind, one of our key hires was assistant editorial page editor and reader engagement director Andy Smith, a bilingual South Texas native who graduated from Farmington High and has spent much of his career in Colorado. Andy will spend a substantial amount of time meeting with — and writing about — organizations and individuals you do not often see in Journal stories. Andy is not alone; the Journal newsroom as a whole will be reaching out and practicing the craft of journalism with an increased emphasis on finding and presenting the stories of all New Mexicans.

It is a delicate balancing act. We cherish our loyal readers and will not stray from our mission of focusing on local news — both good and bad — being a guardian of the First Amendment, remaining a forum for opinion and debate, and providing you the answers you need and want.

But we also will make room for coverage of new ideas and communities, and new ways of providing that information — including expanded use of digital resources.

A new year is a time for introspection — to be grateful for all we have and take a fresh look at what we can achieve. We are doing that at the Journal and welcome your feedback as we move forward.

I invite you to provide feedback by emailing me at question@abqjournal.com. I will be using this space once a month to answer some of your questions and provide a glimpse into how decisions are made in the newsroom.

Happy New Year! 2022 undoubtedly will bring challenges, but may it bring plenty of blessings and joy, as well.

 

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