So, it’s come down to this.
All of this talk over the last year or so, the submission of proposals, hiring of staff, station visits, our UnConvention, blogger hires, design sprints… and in just one week we will be launching the first of our Argo sites – unleashing them on an unsuspecting world.
The first six sites to launch are: KPLU, WNYC, KALW, OPB, MPR, and KPCC
The team here is deep in the throes of checklists, design tweaks, and QA-ing the publishing environment. We are also fully engaged with the first group of stations finalizing their ‘to-do’ lists – populating the blog with real posts, categories, topics, and providing ad tags.
One of the great pleasures of the project has been seeing the time and attention that has gone into ensuring the right hires at made at each station, taking into account subject expertise, Web savvy, experience in building networks (via social media or in person), and ensuring we have a diverse pool of candidates. Some of you have been asking about hires at other stations. While some in the second batch of stations to go live are deciding among finalists, here are the bloggers who will be live next week:
KPLU made one of the first hires, bringing in Tom Paulson to curate its global health blog. From KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld:
Tom was a Science and Medical reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 22 years, until it stopped publishing a print version and laid-off most of its staff last year. He also was one of the first reporters to cover the topic of “Global Health” in the daily news media — starting with the day Bill Gates announced he was giving most of his immense fortune to improving health in developing countries. If you type “Tom Paulson” into an internet search, you’ll find more than 400 stories he wrote at the P-I about global health. In the process, he’s traveled for stories to Africa, Asia and Latin America, and he’s earned international recognition for his reporting.
KPCC has hired Leslie Berestein Rojas to write a blog about the 1.5 and second generation immigrant experience in Southern California. Leslie’s vision is to explore:
…the cultural fusion that has become an ever-bigger part of the region’s identity, with these new generations influencing one another and the culture in general. [It's] a place that has given birth to cultural mashups like Kogi BBQ – the brainchild of a second-generation Filipino-American married to a Korean-American who loved Mexican food and came up with the idea of Kor-Mex fusion, which he calls “L.A. in one bite.” Gotta love that! It’s a classic story of the new Southern California, and there are many others like it.
Yesterday was the first day on the job for Rina Palta, KALW’s blogger to focus on cops and the community. Rina is no stranger to KALW or public media. She has done some reporting previously for KALW. Rina came to radio from print, having worked at Mother Jones magazine. Rina expects to closely examine the issues of parole, recidivism and gangs in the Bay Area.
WNYC has hired Azi Paybarah to cover the ins and outs of politics in New York. Azi has covered politics for the New York Observer, the New York Sun and New York Press. His departure from the Observer for WNYC was noted in Fishbowl NY. Azi has 1,300 followers on Twitter and helped launch political blogs at both the Sun and Press.
Minnesota Public Radio and Oregon Public Broadcasting are working out final details with their hires. We’ll update with their hires shortly.