Deaths, Trades and Oscars — a guaranteed week on NewsOK
It’s been a really busy week. But, really, they’re all busy these days.This week seemed especially long for me because we made a change that irked some of our users. But in the end, I had an opportunity to speak with dozens of customers who use our website every day. That makes for a busy, but very good week.
Women in PrisonWomen in Prison took another big step this past weekend. One story in particular became very popular on the site, thanks to the viral nature of the Internet. It was actually a story by Ginnie Graham of the Tulsa World about “How $31 of pot gave mom a 10-year prison sentence.” You might ask why we published a full story by a Tulsa World reporter on our site (we often publish excerpts of daily articles and link to the World’s website for the full story). Well, the Women in Prison series is a journalistic endeavor from Oklahoma Watch, which is a non-profit, investigative and in-depth reporting team that collaborates with The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World and others. It’s a good series, and it underscores our goals here — to tell stories and share information that makes a difference in our community.
New Death Listings
And now to the fun part of the week. I’ve written in the past about changing the format of our daily death listings. It’s part of a project that has allowed our newsroom to gather statewide death listings in a more efficient manner. It’s all in a database, so we’re now displaying those listings that way on the website. What it means for the users, however, is that the listings don’t look like they’ve looked every day for years. Here was my message to our users. Here are some of their comments: (1) I don’t like your new death listing, IT STINKS!!! (2) Congratulations, the obit listing is now totally unusable! (3) the new method of listing deaths is not progress. It is now impossible to know who has passed on. There was much more, but you get the idea. I responded to everyone. I made a point to show people who don’t like a searchable, sortable listing with a deep archive that we still have a printable listing for today that looks like our old way of presenting the death listings. I received some positive feedback after that: (1) just wanted to tell you, i just tried, the print button, and saw all of the obits, towns, and arrangements. (2) Thank you Alan!!! I’ll give it a try. When you’re older you resist change to anything you’re comfortable with. I appreciation your response. (3) Thank you for your response. I used the print link and yes, it opened it up. I really appreciate your help. Here’s the bottom line. We still have some improvements to make. We need to make these listings more available to users on a mobile device. And we need to change some wording on the “print these listings” to make it more clear. But I’m happy that I was able to speak to some of the users that make our Obits page such a popular destination each day.
50 years ago today
I was sitting in a meeting on Monday morning. We were looking at our Today in History page when a conversation broke out about the main headline in the front page of the newspaper that we presented on Feb. 21, 1961. The headline we were discussing was, “84,000 Get Furlough From Struck Airlines.” We were all guessing what it was truly about. Here’s what I found out later by browsing The Oklahoman’s Archives: “Three of the nation’s biggest, businest airlines ordered a complete shutdown of operations Monday night as a result of a wildcat strike of flight engineers, the worst tieup in American aviation history.” The Archives are a fun resource.
Blake was back
Blake Griffin returned to Oklahoma City this week. Jenni Carlson wrote a great column about how we knew Blake before he was the fastest rising star in sports. And this video we had from a couple years ago with highlights of his collegiate greatness was a fun watch:
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