Home > Daily Freeman, John Paton, journal register company, JRC > A revolutionary year at the Daily Freeman

A revolutionary year at the Daily Freeman

Journal Register Company CEO John Paton’s message to employees (and the world) this morning, “What a difference a year makes,” includes a video (I want that video editor, btw) that sums up his message pretty neatly.

In short, we sucked before and now we rule (I think I’m paraphrasing). And yes, I am very well aware it’s been difficult.

If you look pretty intensely and paused the video a lot (I really mean a lot), you can see half my blurry face for half a second:

You can also see my blurry face for less than a tenth of a second:

What’s my point?
I am an egotistical maniac.

Now that we’ve established the obvious, let’s share some cool accomplishments:

Here at the Daily Freeman, in the 10 months since Paton took over the parent company:

* We’ve gone from offering zero videos (that’s 0 for the numerically inclined) to 866 and counting.
* The website has been transformed from a static reproduction of the paper to an organic, ever updated site, and you have noticed. Our monthly unique visitors have grown more than 50 percent. We had close to  200,000 monthly unique visitors in November, our best month to date.
* We’ve upgraded our systems and equipment by leaps and bounds, from this (note the MiniDisk slot on the 1990s PowerPC):

To this (note the iPad, netbook, Flip camera, laptop, tiny toilet behind them):

* Our reporters have published a gazillion stories (that’s the technical term), many right after news happened and from the field with an Android, an iPad, a netbook or laptops. And we’ve published more stories than before: Five and a half million stories since February (compared to 3.3 million for the same period a year ago).
* Our roster of bloggers went from four to 38 and counting (we added two more last week).
* Our engagement efforts have multiplied dramatically. The Freeman itself wasn’t even on Facebook a year ago. We’ve actually used your help to create some stories, in many cases, in new and innovative ways (check out the crowdsourced path of Billy Joel in the Hudson Valley)
* We’ve used new tools to complement stories, including live video streams, live twitter coverage and have published primary documents with Scribd.
* Have I ever mentioned the Idealab?

There’s tons that I’m forgetting. But the good part is, there’s tons more coming. And sooner than you can say “you’re a crazy egomaniac!”

I’ll keep you posted.

  1. December 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I saw the number of new blogs and decided to browse a bit — and I note one of the new blogs (by a very talented photographer) features a former Freeman editor's feet in her masthead :). Funny how things go full circle isn't it?

  2. December 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    And now I know what said former editor's feet look like.

  3. December 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    lol 🙂

  4. December 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    the daily freeman is the nost outdated rag around. the editorials are nil as are the interatcion with the general public.maybe there will be a better use for the facility on hurley ave.good riddence to this archaic narrow minded, self serving rag

  5. December 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I tried using the Freeman as a rag and all I got was wet paper all over the my kitchen floor. So Anonymous' constructive criticism is woefully incorrect.Also, you'll be unhappy to know we're not going anywhere.At least you'll still have your favorite rag to be hatin' for a long, long time.

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