Back in the golden age of journalism, all-knowing reporters researched and wrote their stories, which magically appeared in newspapers or were delivered as sacrosanct on radio or television.
The process lived behind a hazy screen where few had access. The public’s only peek was through wisecracking, hard-nosed Hollywood depictions of reporters. Information only traveled in one direction — from the media to consumers. Of course, many fewer avenues to publishing existed, and they were controlled by a powerful few.
Then came the Internet, and the game changed — although much of the media were slow to realize it. Now, anyone with a WiFi connection can reach an audience.
Finally, the great and powerful Oz-like media have learned to include consumers in the process. Through social media and other tools, journalists ask their followers to suggest people to interview for specific stories, provide eyewitness accounts on breaking news, give feedback on early versions of stories and more.
Alternative media like Folio Weekly have always valued and invited readers to take part through writing letters, columns, essays and stories. With the launch of the new folioweekly.com, we have even more ways to engage interaction.
We’ll now be publishing all of our stories online, and each one will give readers the opportunity to comment. We want to create a safe atmosphere for thoughtful and civil conversation, so please refrain from name-calling, inappropriate language and downright stupidity. Folio Weekly reserves the right to remove comments that violate the basic rules of humanity.
And there will be more content on folioweekly.com than just what appears in print. We’ll feature new stories, reviews, photos and more every day, including a bunch of blogs: The Flog, Playing Around, The Specktator, Bite-Sized, Deemable Tech and Sportstalk. You can find them all here.
You, too, can write a story or blog for consideration on our site. It could be a reported story, an interview with a local musician, an essay, a Backpage Editorial — whatever interests you.
Local photography and artwork give Folio Weekly its unique look and feel. The new website is designed to showcase images with a simple and slick photo gallery presentation. We shoot photos of people at events around Northeast Florida for The Eye, and now we will be able to feature even more online. But you can also upload photos to folioweekly.com to be presented in our galleries. If you organized or attended an event, post your photos for everyone to enjoy.
A new feature of the site is called What Do You Think? We will pose questions about local news and events throughout the week and seek your feedback.
We will comb through the comments, stories, blogs and photos online and print the best of them in Folio Weekly to create a more robust and interactive publication.
Folio Weekly prints the most complete calendar listings in Northeast Florida. That’s one reason why so many readers make a habit of picking us up each week. We put a lot of work into gathering that information. Now, we’re asking you to help us improve and expand our calendar by submitting events online. We will be phasing out email submissions, so this will be the best way to get your event listed in print, though we’ll still have to edit our calendars based on space. However, posting your event on our searchable online calendar means it will get even more exposure. And, you can upload photos to go with it. If you attach high-resolution photos (200 dpi and at least 8 inches wide), we can consider them for print in Folio Weekly.
In order to contribute any of this content to folioweekly.com, you will need to create an account and log in. Please use your real name and give us some contact information so that we can get in touch if we want to publish something you posted. All stories, blogs, photo galleries and events posted by our users will be submitted for approval by our staff before they appear online.
The new website also makes it easy for you to share content through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email. If you follow us on various social media channels (facebook.com/thefolioweekly, twitter.com/folioweekly), and we hope you do, you can take part in even more conversations about Northeast Florida news and events.
Of course, you can still contact us by email or through the good old-fashioned postal service. You might be surprised to know that we still get a fair amount of physical mail; in fact, three letters in this week’s Mail had stamps on them.
But we invite you to join us in our digital transformation. We hope you use and enjoy our website all week, in addition to picking us up at your favorite location each Wednesday.
And best of all, our website is the right price — free, just like our printed issues.