I was in the room June 1 when the News & Messenger, based in Manassas, Va., became the first newspaper in my company to surpass 10,000 Facebook fans, I just didn’t realize until today it was the first, or that less than a year earlier the Inside Nova Facebook page had fewer than 1,000 fans.
Hitting that number is not an accident. Everyone on the news staff is acutely aware of social media. It’s part of the discussion in the room, led by Kari Pugh, whose title is digital products manager but who functions more as a digital-first city editor (maybe one day we could just shorten that to city editor). Kari posts news updates and responds to reader questions, comments and news tips, but she isn’t the only one in the newsroom who pays attention to the online community and the discussion there, and maybe that’s the key part of the equation.