When I became Daily Pilot editor nearly six years ago I kept hearing about this amazing Corona del Mar blogger, Amy Senk.
I checked out her site and quickly figured out that she covered her town within a town better than the Pilot, better than anyone.
Crime. Events. Business openings and closings. Kids. Animals. City Hall. School board. Private schools. Features. Medians. Street-improvements. No-burn days. Weather warnings. Histories. Anniversaries. The occasional “rant.”
All of it.
Usually alone. Always well.
So how could we compete?
So I signed her up for a weekly column based on her blog entries to get at least some of this coverage into the newspaper. The Pilot got important content, and Amy got more exposure. The benefit, I am sure, was mainly ours.
This is why it pains me that she’s going to stop blogging Dec. 31. She’s ready to try new things but my hope is that she reconsiders.
There’s no way to replicate Amy’s blanket, competent reportage. She’s a University of Missouri-trained journalist who practices our profession the way you should — with principle. Like her St. Louis Cardinals, she does pretty much everything well.
Perhaps the most important thing about Amy is that she has shown us all what hyper-local journalism can be. Corona del Mar Today is a window into how a one-person website can generate independent, agenda-free reporting, and even make a few bucks.
I’ve always wanted Corona del Mar to succeed because I want true journalism to succeed. We need an Amy in every city, reporting the coyote sightings, the stolen Christmas packages, the power outages, the chamber breakfast meetings — the little stuff that is actually big stuff when it’s happening in your neighborhood.
People have been predicting that when newspapers go the way of the stick shift that the Amys will rise up and replace them. I think the future will offer a combination. You’ll shave your Los Angeles Timeses for the big world, national, foreign and regional stories, your Daily Pilots for city hall, prep sports and the like, and your Corona del Mar Todays for everything else.
It’s like getting your sports from satellite, your TV shows from Netflix and your movies from Amazon. No one service does everything as well — or at least as cheaply — so you combine the fragments.
In the meantime, enjoy these next few weeks of Corona del Mar Today (Sundays in the Daily Pilot and daily at coronadelmartoday.com). I doubt anyone will ever cover our little village so well.
JOHN CANALIS is executive editor of Times Community News. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and firstname.lastname@example.org.