Spring has always been a time of change - in weather, the end of daylight savings, and the blooming orchards that line the Valley. This year spring has also brought changes here at the Journal.
Not only have we welcomed a new general manager in veteran newspaperman Hank Vander Veen, but we are also preparing to share our Center Street office with sister paper the Ceres Courier.
The Courier staff will start working out of the Journal office on April 23. While this means some rearranging in desks and office equipment at the Journal, the big change will obviously be for the Courier staff.
Both the Courier and Journal are committed to providing our readers the best community coverage possible. Historically, this meant a downtown office staffed daily with not only reporters, but advertising representatives and a circulation department that included a large press and staff putting together and printing newspapers.
We now are in the digital age and that means putting together a newspaper involves more computers and fewer bulky machines. Most of our advertising and circulation customers contact us through e-mail or by phone.
Reporting is in many ways the same it's always been - making contacts, attending city meetings, covering school events and talking to community members about their accomplishments and concerns - but it's also changed. Now a reporter can cover a city council meeting, write up the story on his or her laptop computer and send it off to be edited, all while the council finishes the last items on its agenda.
Smart phones make staying in touch with contacts and the office through e-mail accessible anytime, anywhere. A reporter can go from a school board meeting straight to the scene of fire he was notified of by text message. No longer are reporters tied to the office to stay in touch with what is going on in the community.
So even though I look forward to working with Ceres Courier managing editor Jeff Benziger and sports reporter Dale Butler and collaborating on county-wide and regional stories with them, I doubt they'll be here very often. They will probably be where they have been all these years - out in the community.
This column is the opinion of Kristina Hacker and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Journal or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.