Wake up, Naptown

Dateline: Wed 07 Jan 2009

Readers have always been the lifeblood of any quality journalistic endeavor. Hence it is a pleasure to recommend a webzine, WakeupNaptown.com. It's linked on these pages, so have at it.

WUNT's creator is Ray Pawulich, who introduced himself via email back in October, prior to my eye surgery. The impetus was a discussion about the changes in the media business; Ray sent along a link to a piece in AdAge that addressed those concerns.

Now that a New Year is upon us and the Star has all but abandoned its features mission -- traditionally the dessert in every newspaper -- it's time to talk about what else is out there.

Enter WUNT (gotta love the name) and its WUNT manifesto, which reads, in part: "One of our goals is to create a substantial local audience for writers and content creators who either can't get access to traditional local media for whatever reason (political, not enough experience, whatever), or ones who purposefully eschew traditional local media but perhaps don't have experience in creating sizable audiences for their content."

Most interestingly, WUNT's mission statement carries the pledge: "readers will always come first."


Being always curious, I asked Ray to tell me a bit about his background which, not surprisingly, includes a stint at NUVO. (Please support your local alternatives).

Here is what Ray also had to say about the Birth of a Journalist or webzine guy:

"My background is mostly in student media, to tell you the truth.

Lawrence North had a really excellent newspaper and TV program when I

was there and that's really where I fell in love with creating content

and establishing brands. Then when I was in Bloomington, I helped

found IU's first fully student-run TV station.

"After college, I spent a few years working at NUVO in the marketing

department. But I have an ego that didn't want to be limited to one

department and I ended up having some pretty big creative differences

with the company as a result of that. Eventually, I moved on to

another marketing position elsewhere. But I was still spending a lot

of time thinking about the kind of media property young people in

Indianapolis might see as 'theirs', so back in February I just decided

to move forward with getting some of those ideas realized -- even

though I have no resources and no clue where I am going with it.

"We're starting to develop a little audience and attracting other young

writers into the fold but, right now, Wakeup Naptown is just a labor

of love. I'm sure NUVO is not losing any sleep over it -- nor should

they. Although we had our differences in the past, we are still close.

I think the people there are doing a great job. In fact, you can find

me out promoting the paper at local events from time to time. I

understand why a casual observer might see WUNT and NUVO as similar --

obviously the years I spent there left a big mark on me and I was

involved enough with trying to answer the "What are we going to do

about INtake" question that you can still see some of my fingerprints

on their stuff too. One of our challenges at Wakeup Naptown is finding

a really distinctive niche, and that's something we're still feeling

our way into."

Let a million flowers bloom.



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