Publisher Interview: Margaret Norris of the Garden City News

Publisher Interview: Margaret Norris of the Garden City News
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Our-Hometown CEO Matt Larson recently had the opportunity to sit down with Margaret Norris, Publisher/Editor of the Garden City News, Bethpage Newsgram, Jericho News Journal, Syosset Advance, and the Mid-Island Times, to discuss her use of our publishing platform.

Specifically, they go over the Reverse Publishing tools that we offer and demonstrate how to use the system effectively when exporting to Adobe InDesign. Check out the interview in the videos below as Meg takes us through the process from start to finish, touching on some useful tips along the way!

1. Settings & Basic Demonstration

In part one of the interview, Margaret explains the back-end settings of the Reverse Publishing tool, noting that the Character Styles and Paragraph Styles must match the styles within your Adobe InDesign document, before exporting and downloading the selected story or edition. In this case, Meg demonstrates downloading the XML for a single story, importing the XML into InDesign, and then dragging the story elements over for placement in the document.

In this example, we’ve exported just a single story for placement, but the Reverse Publishing settings allow you to export an entire edition worth of stories for bulk-placement if that makes more sense for your workflow.

2. InDesign Templates & Layout

In the second part of our interview, Meg explains her staff’s workflow while designing a document. They start by placing the ads within the document, which are pretty standard sizes for print advertising, and filling in the article content around the ads.

Working with mostly half-page and quarter-page ads allows for a fairly standard page template that can be re-used from week to week, with minor tweaks where necessary. Once all of the pages are properly structured, they just combine them into a single document at the end of the week to create the final paper.

3. Publish Articles Online First

Up until now, Margaret has shown us how to export and download content from the website for placement in an InDesign layout, and has explained how her staff goes about piecing the paper together throughout the week. However, before those articles are available for export, they must first be published on the website.

In Part 3 below, she introduces us to the various options available when publishing a new article, including the Multi-Site Publishing options she has enabled.

Once your articles are published, they’ll be available for export either individually or as an entire edition within the Reverse Publishing menu! Now, you’re ready to layout your document and send it to the printer!

After discussing Reverse Publishing at length, Meg also offered some insight on managing comments on her websites.

Her websites allow comments from readers to publish right away, but each comment generates a notification sent to her e-mail address. Due to the mobile-responsiveness of the admin dashboard, she’s able to use her phone to quickly access the comments section and perform moderation actions as quickly as possible after receiving a notification.

Finally, Matt and Margaret leave us with some thoughts on the evolving nature of digital publishing and how the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic may cause a lot of newspapers to change the way they operate by shifting their primary focus to the web.

Thanks for reading and listening, and a big thanks to Margaret Norris for taking the time to join us! Check out her websites below:

The Garden City News
The Bethpage Newsgram
The Jericho News Journal
The Syosset Advance
The Mid-Island Times

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