Archive for the ‘Reader participation’ Category


Sunday, January 25, 2015

We take our coverage of the Governor’s State of the State seriously — but recognize it’s like eating cauliflower.

So the past couple of years we’ve offered an activity for those who want to have a little fun with their public policy.


Conceivably, since the Bingo card was the same for everyone, all players could win. We offered up a vaguely described prize: some sort of Charleston Daily Mail swag to one winner chosen at random. Looking at social media, it appeared quite a few people were playing along but only a few people actually emailed in their Bingos: Bobby Johnson of Charleston, George Hohmann of Charleston (our retired business editor), Mike Mallow of Franklin, Warren Perrine of Parkersburg and Justice Hudson of St. Albans. It was few enough that, instead of just picking one, I sent each a Daily Mail mug.

They seemed to like the prizes. Thanks to everyone who played.


Who makes this city go? Your responses

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I was asked, ‘Who makes this town go?’ And I brainstormed some names, then offered them up for public review. Was I right? Not quite.

Straight to your phone: About Charley West’s push notifications

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A couple of months ago, editors at the Charleston Daily Mail got the ability to blast cannonballs of information directly to people’s smartphones. It surprised me that thousands of people had already OK’d receiving the notifications and how quickly the service continued to grow.

Oh, no. Oh, yes! @VentLineWV is on Twitter

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Weigh in on our comics and puzzles

Friday, July 18, 2014

Do you put ‘Family Circus’ on your fridge? Do you love or hate ‘Pearls Before Swine’? Don’t feel complete without the Jumble?

Our comics and puzzles survey has generated response.

Our comics and puzzles survey has generated response.

About once a year we take a look at our newspaper syndicated features lineup. Usually that’s prompted by proposed rate increases by the syndicates so we’re assessing what still seems worth the price.

Often, though, we’re just guessing at what’s resonating with readers.

And before I go any farther, here’s a universal truth: different people like different things. In other words, you’re never gonna please everyone.

Still, we’d like to know more about what our readers like, so we invited them to tell us.

In print editions, which is where the comics and puzzles run (sorry Internet readers), we’ve been printing a survey: “Like it a lot,” “It’s OK,” “Hate it” and “Would not notice if it were gone” for each of our current syndicated offerings.

This is not exactly a popular vote. It’s not a “vote one off the island” kind of thing. But I’m interested in seeing any trends. I’m probably most interested in how people reply to “It’s OK” and “Would not notice if it were gone” — those features that just don’t move the needle either way.

It’s just been a few days, but responses have been flowing in steadily.

One thing I’ve learned is that people aren’t shy about saying they miss Beetle Bailey, which was cut late last year because of its high price and advancing age. “Miss Beetle Bailey comic,” commented a retiree from Charleston. Another 69-year-old retiree also pleaded, “Bring back Beetle Bailey.” “What happened to Beetle Bailey??” another asked.

Age has been one factor in written responses, with some older readers saying they are not fans of some of the newer offerings.

“How about some classic Lil Abner or other old comics for your older adult readers instead of this childish jibberish?” suggested an 83-year-old respondent.

“Comics aren’t funny any more except Family Circus,” commented a 63-year-old.

“I am 75 and the new comics do not make sense to me,” a reader commented.

Another reader expressed appreciation for puzzles.

“Crossword and Jumble help me to stay mentally active,” wrote a 77-year-old Campbell’s Creek resident.

Keep ’em coming and we’ll let you know what more people have to say.

What should our newspaper’s Everyman and woman name their cat?

Friday, February 28, 2014

This year, the Charleston Daily Mail is celebrating its 100th anniversary. And one way the newspaper likes to celebrate is to bestow a new animal upon the household of Charley West and his long-suffering wife Ginny, the illustrated punsters who comment on each day’s news.

4 editions and John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Today I got a visit from Ray and Conni Lewis of Kanawha City. They brought in a box with yellowed newspapers of the past — tangible history of the day John F. Kennedy was shot.


This is the fourth and final edition of the Nov. 22, 1963, Charleston Daily Mail

The newspapers were the four editions of the Charleston Daily Mail from Nov. 22, 1963. As an afternoon newspaper at the time, the Daily Mail first printed a suburban edition that had no sign of a national tragedy — just a front page picture of some people protesting the president’s Texas visit.  With each edition after that, the horrible story unfolded with greater detail and certainty.

Ray, then 16, was in chemistry class at Charleston Catholic.  That’s where he first heard Kennedy had been shot.

“Within half an hour, we knew he was dead.”

Because his high school was downtown, Ray had immediate access to the newspaper bins that kept receiving updated edition after updated edition.

“I walked past the newspaper rack and there was one marked ‘Extra,'” he recalled. He put in a nickel and got a copy.

“Shortly after that, another one came out.”

By the end of the day, he had four editions of the paper, which he kept for 50 years.

Conni marveled at the newspaper staff’s ability to provide update after update.

“Think what it would have taken to put out 4 front pages with jumps.”

This is the "Suburban" edition that came out before news of the assassination.

This is the “Suburban” edition that came out before news of the assassination.


This is the first “Extra” edition when Kennedy’s fate still wasn’t clear.

In this second "Extra" edition, it was clear that Kennedy had died.

In this second “Extra” edition, it was clear that Kennedy had died.

Kennedy and Thanksgiving dinners gone awry: Ways readers can help us out

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Readers are obviously a big part of what we do. And now and then there are opportunities for you to help us directly.

The Daily Mail is looking for reader participation for a couple of upcoming projects.

John_F_Kennedy_Official_Portrait-202x300The first is a look back at the death of President John F. Kennedy.

A few weeks ago, we asked readers to submit memories of Nov. 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Dozens responded with emails, calls and letters.

The Daily Mail has collected those remembrances on a special website, We’ll update the site all week, adding new stories each day, leading up to the anniversary date. We’re also planning related coverage in our print edition on Friday.

Are you a West Virginian with a memory you’d still like to submit? Send an email to or Write as long or as short as you’d like, but be sure to include your contact information in case we need to reach you.

If you want to give Zack a call, his number is  304-348-7939.

The other reader participation project has a bit of a lighter tone.

Have you ever had a Thanksgiving dinner disaster?

The Charleston Daily Mail is looking for tales of Thanksgiving cooking gone awry. The time the turkey slid right off the platter onto the floor. The year you forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. Send your fateful, fearful, less-than-fun tales to Monica Orosz —

We’ll publish the results of this project in the paper the day before Thanksgiving so it’ll serve as either a warning or as comic relief.