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Start the Presses: Putting the boards' ideas to work

May 03, 2014|By Dan Evans, dan.evans@latimes.com

In the wake of the discussions by the Community Advisory Boards for the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press, I want to announce a number of adjustments and tweaks to our offerings and features.

Not all of the suggestions of the two boards have been directly implemented as yet, but I’m happy to report a number of things have already occurred or are about to go live.

In particular, the News-Press board asked that the paper look to hiring reporters who are already part of the Glendale community. This, it was said, cuts down on the learning curve someone from, say, Santa Clarita, might have in figuring out where Tropico might be.

About two months ago, we hired Arin Mikailian as our new business and politics reporter. Arin grew up in Glendale, attending Clark Magnet, and lives there currently. His knowledge of the area has done exactly what the board said it would: provide additional context and depth to our stories, and I’m happy to have him on staff.

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Additionally, the News-Press board asked that we provide additional listings of government happenings and do more profiles of interesting people. I have asked our columnists to focus a bit more on personalities around town, and the news and sports staffs have both done their bit.

I’m still considering making the profile a recurring, standard feature, so if you like what you’ve seen so far in this regard, let me know.

As for the government and civic listings, this will become a regular feature on Saturdays starting May 10. We will be listing the meetings scheduled for the following week, along with contact information for a number of our elected officials. Hopefully, this will spark more and more people being involved in local issues and with local leaders.

In Burbank, the Community Advisory Board suggested that we move our “In Theory” section online, allowing for more space for Marquee and news coverage on Saturdays. So, we’re going to try that out. If you are fond of the feature, never fear, it will remain online, but its last day in print — for the time being at least — is May 10 as well.

The Burbank board also asked for additional graphics with our news stories as well as stand-alone infographics. We’ve followed that request exactly. Leader and News-Press readers have already seen an increased number of graphics and maps with news stories, and we started a regular infographic feature last week.

News permitting, this graphic will be at the bottom of A1. Since I’m generally the one crunching the numbers, please send me any suggestions on data you’d like to have us research.

I realize the boards made several other suggestions, and that we still have work to do. However, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made so far, and I am very much grateful for the input. If you have anything to add, or have a different opinion about all this, by all means let me know. I’m easy to find.

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DAN EVANS is the editor. He can be reached at (818) 627-3234 or dan.evans@latimes.com.

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