The sale of a Gannett newspaper to GateHouse Media paid immediate news dividends, according to a column by the publication's managing editor.
Jeff Gauger, managing editor of the Rockford Register Star wrote:
Word came early to the Register Star newsroom that our sale to GateHouse Media was done. Good thing, too, because that enabled us to collaborate with our new corporate friends at the The (Freeport) Journal-Standard (also owned by GateHouse).
Sunday, a boy died and three people were made sick in a gas leak at a trailer in rural Stephenson County. Authories said carbon monoxide from a generator had leaked into the trailer. We published a short story at rrstar.com and in the Monday Register Star.
This morning, our metro editor, Shelley Hendricks, and the news editor at The Journal-Standard, Eric Petermann, talked by phone soon after the GateHouse sale was concluded. They set a plan for working together on our second-day coverage of the carbon monoxide deaths. Anna Voelker, our online news editor, also talked with Eric to hash out when and how our stories would be linked to our individual Web sites.
That plan: Freeport reporter Travis Morse would seek more information about the dead boy and his sick relatives, while Register Star reporter Sadie Gurman would find out how you can protect yourself from carbon monoxide. Then we'd share and share alike.
Neither paper had to assign more than one reporter to the story. Both got double the information.
Both stories will appear in the Register Star Tuesday. We'll link to the Freeport story from rrstar.com. They'll link to us from their Web site.
It should be noted that Miss Gurman (pictured) worked as the statehouse reporter for the Joplin Globe during her last year at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.