Sunday, March 23, 2008

Daily Sound turns two


Two years ago, the Santa Barbara Daily Sound was born in the form of a thin, 8-page edition with a few local stories and a lot of wire reports.
Since that time, the paper has grown into a walking and talking toddler, owner and publisher Jeramy Gordon said, with circulation up to 8,5000 copies from its original 3,000 as local coverage beefed up. Readership figures are topping 25,000 daily and that figure is expect to jump once home delivery starts at the end of April.

“It has been a long, hard journey, but we’re really proud to see what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past two years,” he said. “And we have lots of growth plans for the next two years. We want to put a lot of emphasis on our local sports coverage.”
In the near future, Gordon hopes to hire a full-time sports reporter to cover local high school prep sports while using freelancers to report on UC Santa Barbara, Westmont and Santa Barbara City College athletics.
“As we grow, we’ll continue to expand all of our coverage, including local news,” he said. “The emphasis will always be local news.”
When asked if he is worried about the overall state of the print journalism industry, with circulation figures dropping nearly across the board, Gordon said he feels the Daily Sound is still small enough that it will continue to grow for quite a while.
“We’re in a completely different situation than most major metropolitan newspapers,” he said.
Even as Gordon described the paper’s focus on Santa Barbara news, others in the community expressed hope that the daily continue to expand its local coverage. Lou Cannon, a veteran journalist and author, said the paper would benefit from more local feature stories.
“One thing I’d like to see the paper do is to do more local stuff that involves people or businesses or activities here,” he said. “…Open up and write about local people who do interesting things.”
Cannon took exception to the fact that the Daily Sound’s wine columnist is from Sonoma, suggesting the paper find a local writer to cover Santa Barbara wine country. He also suggested removing the daily horoscope and other items readily available online to make room for more locally oriented content.
David Pritchett, a community activist and producer of a local cable access show, agreed that the Daily Sound still has plenty of work ahead.
“The Daily Sound needs to rise up a little to be the daily newspaper of record,” he said. “That will include a Sunday edition, perhaps instead of Saturday, and hard copy delivery.”
Street stands are currently stocked six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Pritchett said he would also like to see a “more rounded” editorial page and detailed information about when home delivery will start.
“Especially since the other daily newspaper is crashing and burning, this is the ideal time for the Daily Sound to fill the niche and be the A-list newspaper and not just something that’s free and casual,” he said.
Reached Sunday evening, Mayor Marty Blum said she is encouraged by the growth of the paper during the past two years.
“[It’s] a good little newspaper right now,” she said. “It’s fun to see it happen. … We’re not getting that local news anywhere else, except the weekly, the Indy.”
Gordon acknowledged that while the Daily Sound is no longer in its infancy, it still has plenty of room for growth and improvement.
“Our goal is to be the main paper of record for the city of Santa Barbara, to be able to cover everything as thoroughly as possible,” he said.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Congratulations! A good job!