A question I ask myself each night, as I make a final review of all the content that has been published on our various platforms, is, ‘would I read this?’
Would I read what was written on our platforms if it was published somewhere else?
Of course, this is not a scientific assessment of the work our reporters and writers produce, it’s just my personal litmus test as the, um, publisher and executive editor.
Would I read this?
Most often — 12 days out of 14 — the answer is a definitive ‘yes,’ with one day every two weeks being a disappointed ‘no’ and the other being a ‘meh.’
It once was that the days we did our best were those when I was most engaged with my reporters and writers, pushing them to deliver (an unending stream of) the best available content. On days when I focused more on the business and publishing side, the extensive enterprises of Extensive Enterprises seemed as if they drifted.
That’s no longer the case. With a team of strong, self-starting, aggressive reporters and writers, I find myself amazed at what is published when I am away from a monitor.
Would I read this?
As it was this week, when I was engaged more so than normal with political work, including attending time-draining fundraisers for several local candidates. These events invariably take place at about the same time our reporters and writers are putting the finishing touches on their final stories for the day. I like to be near a computer during this part of the day so I can help land the planes circling the airport. That couldn’t happen this week, yet the planes still landed on-time and safely. Even the luggage made it to the right destinations.
On Friday evening, as I reviewed the week’s worth of work our team published, it struck me just how good our work has become.
Put aside what I was doing during this time — putting the final touches on the fourth edition of INFLUENCE Magazine, assembling our weekly “Takeaways from Tallahassee” email — and read what was published on SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, Orlando-Rising.com, and ContextFlorida.com.
First of all, Gary Shelton and Bob Sparks crushed it with their coverage of a very busy week in sports. I never forget what a treat it is to read Shelton’s take on sports, especially during big moments like the NFL Draft and NHL playoffs. It was funny, for a moment, when I opened up SaintPetrsblog.com — a site the Washington Post has called the best political blog in Florida — to see that the Top 5 headlines were all sports stories.
Local politics is what we do best and that’s why I am so excited to have Anne Lindberg with us covering Pinellas. She’s hot on the story of the controversy surrounding the death of three black teenagers who drowned after the car they had stolen sank into a pond.
Another new addition to our team, Larry Griffin, just offered-up his best piece since coming on board. How good of a story did he write? Well, this is his lede:
“Desmond Meade, the president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, once stood by a set of train tracks, waiting for the train to come. He intended to step in front of the train when it came.”
Yeah, I would read that.
Just as I would read Jim Rosica’s must-read story about the poor state of the workers at the Department of Family and Children.
Just as I would read Mitch Perry’s profile of independent U.S. Senate candidate Tony Khouri.
Just as I would read Scott Powers’ coverage of Central Florida politics, including his fact-checking of claims against a county commission candidate.
Want to know how much A.G. Gankarski owns the City Hall beat in Jacksonville? This is what Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted this week:
“Read enough Gancarski & you will end up in a dictionary – I’m assigning my kids to that work so they are ready for SAT on Roids.”
There’s all of this and so much more. Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster is both show horse and work horse, covering the sprawling race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, while posting rapid-fire to FloridaPolitics.com. Thomas O’Hara and the rest of the stable of writers at Context Florida offer up one thought-provoking thinkpiece after another. Do yourself a favor and go read Martin Dyckman’s latest or Darryl Paulson’s latest or, well, you get the point. It’s the best line-up of opinion writers in the state.
Woud I read all of this? Hell yes.
I hope you will, too.