Carter Observer relaunches for 2024

Carter Observer launched in 2022 as a basic, one-person independent blog about public events in our little county in southern Oklahoma. Even though I was not doing anything for any sort of monetary income, I still wanted to put out a good product that could potentially compliment the local news landscape.

A Carter Observer exclusive republished in
The Ardmoreite, Nov. 2022

And apparently I did when I received several bylines in the local newspaper as Carter Observer in 2022 and 2023.

That’s what I starting doing 15 years ago in Alabama and that hobby blog eventually turned into a job as radio station news director. One major difference between 2009 and 2022 was I had since gotten married and started a family.

As a result, stay-at-home dadding became the priority last year and my Carter Observer project fell back to hobby status.

But with 2024 comes slightly older children in my house and an ongoing need for an expanded press corps for the towns, communities and schools across Carter County. As a result, Carter Observer is getting relaunched with the continued effort to better connect Carter County residents with their local governments.

Unlike my first blog in 2009, now I have over a decade of experience as reporter, with half of that spent professionally in broadcast and print. I also have access to expanded self-publishing technology to create news packages with audio, video, photos, and the written word.

But let me be clear, I don’t want to compete with traditional news organizations currently covering Carter County. In fact, I’ll keep giving away all of my content under Creative Commons licensing to any of those organizations who also provide news to Carter County residents.

One of the hardest parts of being a professional journalist in southern Oklahoma is the short deadlines in an industry competing for clicks and eyes at all times. The pressure for “quantity over quality” can be real, especially in a 24-hour news cycle.

Carter Observer will be different. Beyond providing context that can be left out of local news stories due mostly to time restraints, I hope this project also can break out of the rigid confines of what’s expected from traditional news outlets.

I believe there can be a responsible intersection between straight, objective news and creative content found across social media.

So instead of those engaging tutorials on makeup, dancing, or other popular content online, I want Carter Observer content to be about local issues while still being creative and engaging. It’s an nontraditional approach to building a news brand because exponential growth creating this type of content as a business is impossible: the only people who will ever care about Carter County news are people who live, work and play in Carter County.

And that’s fine with me.

So while media owners and investors in New Jersey, Virginia and Georgia try to figure out how to keep local news profitable, I just want to keep Carter County news relevant and interesting. Yes I know there are so many other aspects of any news organization of which I’m very cognizant that I hope to address if and when this project grows.

But first, the news.

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