BY MICHAEL GARETH JOHSNON , Executive News Director of Ocean Gold Media, owners and operators of the Queens Tribune
For more than 48 years the Queens Tribune, in various forms, has been a paper of record for the diverse and dynamic borough. As times changed the newspaper evolved and now the Tribune’s weekly print edition is evolving once again as the the world gets smaller with consumers of news and information being bombarded with endless options.
Starting July 13th, we will be changing the look of the Tribune. The newspaper will be switching from a tabloid to a broadsheet, creating a larger canvas to tell stories with a focus on providing a more visually appealing product for our readers. With this switch, we will also be making a better effort to go beyond just telling you what is happening around the borough, with a focus on utilizing photography, social media, and more visual elements to show you the cultural fabric of Queens.
The new Queens Tribune will also be a borough-wide publication focused on covering all corners of the borough, with a laser-focus on the issues and stories that have the most impact on all the people of Queens. Our goal will be to educate and entertain our audience, by going beyond simply informing readers of what is happening and striving to put the weekly news in full context, giving the people of Queens a better understanding of what is happening in the borough.
This new approach will include a renewed dedication to quality over quantity. We will direct our staff to focus more of its time on diving deeper into stories with an investigative and analytic eye towards finding uncomfortable truth often hidden in institutions, businesses and government. We will measure our success more by the positive change our stories make, then the number of page clicks or Facebook likes.
Some changes you will see immediately. Issues surrounding transportation and development are especially prescient at this time in Queens, so we will be launching dedicated weekly segments to better cover these spaces. We are calling our coverage of trains, traffic, buses, bike lanes and the expanding airports, “Moving through Queens.” This will be a place where we will do our best to make our readers weekly travel through the borough easier, while also looking at the larger transportation trends. Our focus on the rapid development through the borough and the relating issues that the booming prosperity brings will be called “Changing Landscape of Queens.” Each week we will dedicated page inches to these topics because we feel this is what our readers want.
In the new Tribune we will also be recommitting to creating a more robust opinion page, pulling in a wider variety of views from all corners of the borough, and from around the globe when we feel the views will have an impact on the lives of our readers. In this space, we will also seek more input from our loyal followers. Letters to the editor will always be welcome, but we will also be more active in engaging our readers using social media, and will publish thoughtful responses to the stories we write or the news of the day.
The community weekly newspaper will always have an important role in our democracy. But these mainstays like the Queens Tribune need to adapt and change to the rapidly shifting media in order to thrive. Part of this process will require trying new things never done before by the Tribune, or other weeklies. While we are hopeful you will enjoy the changes we are making, we accept that some of these endeavors may fall flat with our loyal readers.
Our pledge to you is that we will never stop trying to make the new Queens Tribune a paper for all the people of Queens.