A guide for ENGL 2501 and ENGL 3801
The last time Lindsay Corcoran and I shared a classroom, we possibly traumatized a group of Shrewsbury middle schoolers with the breaking news headline “DA: Husband ate wife’s flesh in Shrewsbury murder.”
Lindsay’s byline is now absent from the story, removed at some point during the corporate shakeup that shuttered the Massachusetts Daily Voice sites. The Shrewsbury Daily Voice, the site she originally built as The Daily Shrewsbury back in early 2010, is now an Internet museum of sorts, chronicling a three year period in the life of a Central Massachusetts town and the early career of a very motivated young journalist.
Lindsay, now a reporter covering Worcester for MassLive.com, is our guest speaker for Wednesday’s Introduction to Journalism and Writing for Electronic Media classes. She was the fifth reporter I hired for CentralMassNews.com and, out of the 25 total I hired, I’d say that was the best decision I made as editor-in-chief.
A December 2009 graduate of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, Lindsay had interned at the MetroWest Daily News and covered White House press briefings for the Lipman Times, along with a stint at the GW Hatchet, the student paper. She told me during our interview one of her professors stressed that graduating reporters should look for jobs that required an Internet presence, that weren’t simply reporting stories that made it into the next day’s paper and, eventually, the paper’s website.
I gave Lindsay the still-developing how-to on starting up a hyperlocal website — The Daily Shrewsbury was only the fourth website for the 9-month-old CentralMassNews.com — and she went to work. She had an unregistered Level 3 sex offender making news in her first week; a murder soon followed. Sometimes news would break and I wouldn’t even hear about it until I received the breaking news alert in my email (“Call me when you’re covering a murder, okay?” “Sure thing, boss.”).
When we hired reporters to launch the next two websites, I had Lindsay help with their training. Shrewsbury quickly became the second most popular site in the network.
Lindsay left, as assistant editor, in mid 2012 to join the MetroWest Daily News/Milford Daily News. Since June 2014, she has been at MassLive.com, the online division of the Springfield Republican, covering primarily Worcester-area cops and courts. You might want to ask about her experiences covering the Blackstone “house of horror” case (I don’t ban food in my classes, since they’re so early in the morning, but I recommend against eating in class Wednesday).
Come to class Wednesday prepared to live-Tweet Lindsay’s talk. There’s a Starbucks card on the line for the person who Tweets the most, and stays on topic. Hashtag for class is #ECLC.