How’s this? Partner with one of your critics

Our first experiment with the type of partnership I talked about in an earlier post is getting a great reception from readers.

George Gombossy, a former business editor and longtime journalist at the Hartford Courant, has taken his hard-charging and popular investigative reporting consumer advocate column online and built a pretty neat Web site around it. He parted ways with the Courant after the TV people took over and, um, let’s say, changed their philosophy toward the column. He’s suing them now, and has become a pretty blistering and effective critic of everything that is wrong with a big, institutional traditional media outlet.
We’ve started running Gombossy’s column in our Sunday print edition and online in exchange for plugging his Web site. He’s even sending us breaking news throughout the week, which we are running in print with a summary online with a push to his site.
He’s also signed on with our sister papers, the Middletown Press and West Hartford News, was already in papers in Bristol and New Britain, and there could be more such arrangements to come. Pretty soon he’ll have a bigger print distribution in Connecticut than he did with the Courant, and the state has this great consumer advocate and state business and government news Web site improving the state of Connecticut journalism.
What’s neat for me is that George and I started talking about a partnership when I got into a debate with him over legislation that would end the requirement that town governments place paid public notices in newspapers.
Newspaper companies can benefit from partnerships with entrepreneurial new media journalists … even their biggest critics!

About mattderienzo

Matt DeRienzo has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor, publisher and corporate editorial director and has been recognized nationally for leading newsroom innovation. He teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University, writes a monthly column for Editor & Publisher magazine, and serves as interim executive director of LION Publishers, a national network of local independent online news site publishers. Previously, he served as group editor of Digital First Media's publications in Connecticut, including the New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine, and Northeast regional editor for Digital First Media. He also served as publisher of The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and a group of weeklies in Northwest Connecticut, and before that was corporate director of news for small dailies and non-daily publications for the former Journal Register Company. In early 2011, The Register Citizen was named one of Editor & Publisher magazine's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right," and DeRienzo was named to its annual "25 Under 35" list of leaders in the newspaper industry. In the fall of 2011, The Register Citizen was awarded the Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe, an "open newsroom" launched in Torrington, Connecticut, in December 2010. He led a team of more than 100 journalists in covering the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012 and 2013, and has been honored for his editorial writing and leadership of public service and investigative reporting. In 2014, his efforts at the New Haven Register were recognized with the APME's and ASNE's Robert C. McGruder Award for Leadership in Newsroom Diversity. DeRienzo is a former longtime board member of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, and served as co-chairman of the United Way's annual fundraising campaign in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2011, he received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
This entry was posted in CT Watchdog, George Gombossy, Hartford Courant, The Associated Press. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How’s this? Partner with one of your critics

  1. Anonymous says:

    gombossy is little more than a press agent for Blumenthal…

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