Posts Tagged ‘Zack Harold’

Charleston Daily Mail comings and goings for 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It’s a new year, and, appropriately, we have some comings and goings.


Steven Gill

I’m going to start with a name you probably won’t recognize. Steven Gill is a copy editor, which means he works behind the scenes and never gets any public credit. He deserves some! Steven’s job means catching errors, writing interesting and accurate headlines and designing news pages that feel welcoming. He is good at all of those things. He is also a good co-worker who gives valuable advice without ever coming off the wrong way. He’s leaving us to work as a graphic artist and video producer for a local home improvement company. We’ll miss him, and we wish him well.


Zack Harold

Zack Harold is a name you might have seen in various roles. He  has been an education reporter, Statehouse reporter and, most recently, Life section editor. More importantly, he has been a fun writer, an embracer of change, a risk taker, a digital enthusiast, an idea generator and a vocal supporter of others’ efforts. He is leaving for another opportunity — to be managing editor of West Virginia Focus magazine. Their gain is our loss. But we thank him for what great progress he’s helped us make here.

Billy Wolfe

Billy Wolfe

Moving into the Life editor role will be Billy Wolfe. A few years ago, Billy excelled as our local government reporter. He never left, but he moved behind the scenes as assistant city editor — a role that meant fewer bylines but greater influence. Billy was the goalie who carefully edited stories for accuracy and clarity. His roles also included story idea generation and providing helpful advice. His byline will return in the Life section, where he’ll get to use his way with words as well as his great eye for photos. Our features and entertainment content won’t miss a beat with Billy at the helm.


Ashley B. Craig

Ashley B. Craig will move into the assistant city editor role. Ashley has been our police and crime reporter, which has meant regular page 1 bylines. She’s been a careful and fair reporter who also has an eye for detail and a way with words. She’s also good with people and is known for her VERY long interviews. People who start talking to Ashley quickly grow to love her (and won’t stop talking). So if you don’t see Ashley’s name any more, don’t be worried. She’s influencing the paper in other ways. We’re excited to have her on our leadership team.

Laurie Lin

Laurie Lin

You might  have seen this name already, but here it is for the record: Laurie Lin is joining us as an editorial columnist and opinion section contributor. She lives in Charleston with her husband and two sons. She also has a law degree, which, you know, none of the rest of us have. She’ll typically come at issues from a conservative point of view. You might or might not agree, and that’s fine. Her role is to express her thoughts and promote community debate. If she gets you thinkin’, that’s a good thing.

We’re happy for those taking on new roles, we’ll miss those who are going elsewhere, and we’re looking forward to a great 2015.


From their office farewell: Reigning and undisputed champions Steven Gill and Zack Harold. (Photo credit: Philip Maramba)



Congratulations to the Daily Mail’s annual DFMie finalists

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Digital First Media announced the winners of its second annual DFMies (silly name, cool contest) and the Charleston Daily Mail’s entries were not among the top finishers. (We had a winner last year, Zack Harold.)

No shame in that. As the company itself says, Digital First Media‘s more than 800 multi-platform products reach 67 million Americans each month across 18 states. So it’s a pretty big company and there are a lot of good people doing terrific work. Any competition is bound to be stiff.

We’re proud to have two finalists who are big-time contributors to what we do.

Zack Harold

Zack Harold

One was Zack Harold, the Daily Mail’s life and community engagement editor. Say that job title with me three times fast.

Zack actually won the award for work he did when he was one of our Statehouse writers. He was a DFMie finalist in the “live coverage” category. (It took the entire staff of the New Haven Register to defeat him. Darn you, New Haven Register!)

I entered Zack for his coverage of an environmental protest at the West Virginia Capitol. Here is my entry, which included, by necessity, some weird third-person references to myself:

On Aug. 21, reporters heard over the scanner that an environmental protester had chained himself to a barrel of dirty water right in front of the West Virginia governor’s mansion.

We dispatched photographer Tom Hindman and statehouse reporter Zack Harold to the scene. Zack asked, “Do you want me to tweet about it?”

Editor Brad McElhinny said, fatefully, “Yeah, sure.”

Zack tweeted the blow-by-blow account and produced a Storify to post in his Capitol Notebook blog, plus a story for the next day’s newspaper.

But the extra twist of interest occurred when a journalistic debate broke out over Twitter.

McElhinny summarized the debate and posted it as a Storify in his editor’s blog.


Katy Brown

Another finalist for our paper is not actually a member of our staff. It’s Charleston resident Katy Brown, who was highly considered for the “community blogger” category. Here’s how the category was described: “Entry is not a staff member, but someone in your community who blogs for your website or blogs independently, linked to from your website and part of your Community Media Lab or other network. Entry should include no more than 100 words of explanation and no more than three links to works.”

(The winner of the category is a Golden State Warriors blogger from the San Francisco Bay area. Very different from The Mommyhood, I tell you.)

So the entry had to be pretty short, barely bigger than a tweet. I summed up Katy’s contributions this way and provided these links.

Katy Brown blogs like clockwork for the Daily Mail’s “Mommyhood” blog and has gained a community following for her posts that range from humorous to poignant. She enjoys participating in the comments section and chats with readers via Facebook and Twitter. She’s an asset to our site and is a destination read.
Fruitcakes and nutcases


Rules for an Unstructured Summer

In informing us that Katy was a finalist, Digital First’s Steve Buttry wrote this note to her:

You probably have never heard of a DFMie, but I want to let you know that Mommyhood was a finalist for one.
Digital First Media, the parent company of the Charleston Daily Mail, conducts an annual awards program to recognize editorial excellence by our newsroom staffs. Because we value our relationships with community bloggers, we include an award for the best community blog in our 70-plus daily newsrooms. Brad McElhinny nominated you for a 2014 DFMie and you were one of three finalists for the award. (Another blogger won the award, though.)
Thanks for your contributions to the Daily Mail and congratulations on this recognition!
Well done to Zack and to Katy. Keep up the good work, and we’ll get ’em next year.
(And congratulations to the deserving recipients of this year’s DFMies.)


Our reporter, live from the Online News Association

Friday, October 18, 2013

Daily Mail writer Zack Harold has been at the Online News Association annual convention in Atlanta, where there’s a lot of interesting discussion about the changing nature of news.

Congratulations (again) to Zack Harold

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We lobbied for your vote for Zack Harold to go to the Online News Association annual conference.

And guess what! He gets to go!

Zack-Harold-259x300Zack is one of five journalists nationwide to receive a scholarship from Digital First Media for his registration fee and hotel for the conference in Atlanta.

The conference has cool stuff like lessons in data journalism, tech trends for journalists and a keynote speech by ol’ Mr. Presidential Forecaster Nate Silver of

He was one of 20 finalists already, but he needed our votes to win.

So thank you!



Who wants Zack Harold to go to ONA 2013?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Zack Harold, political writer for the Charleston Daily Mail, has been nominated for a Digital First Media scholarship to go to the Online News Association conference in Atlanta in October. Zack is among 20 journalists from across the country being considered for a scholarship to the convention.

Vote early and often for Zack Harold

Monday, July 15, 2013

I promise you, gentle reader, that this blog will not always be about Zack Harold.

But I do appreciate that the Daily mail politics writer is giving me fodder — and another reason to be excited.


This time, Zack has been nominated for a Digital First Media scholarship to go to the Online News Association conference in Atlanta in October.

He’d love to go.


It has cool stuff like lessons in data journalism, tech trends for journalists and a keynote speech by ol’ Mr. Presidential Forecaster Nate Silver of

Zack is among 20 journalists from across the country being considered for a scholarship to the convention.

Here’s the catch: only the 5 who get the most votes and support will win an ONA13 pass and hotel room for the conference.


And, West Virginians, YOU can help!



Anyone can vote.

Finalists are encouraged to campaign in their newsrooms and on social media for themselves as loudly or as quietly as they see fit. The five to garner the most support will be our five winners.

Lest you need a reminder, West Virginians came through for the pepperoni roll in a national contest just a few months ago.

Let’s do the same for Zack — West Virginian, good guy and deserving journalist.

The polls will close Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m. (ET).




Congratulations to Zack Harold on a big award

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back in December, when our newsroom first heard reports of a big explosion in Sissonville, our newsroom mobilized.

A few reporters and photographers went to the scene of what turned out to be a pipeline explosion so strong it melted the interstate. Others stayed in the office trying to make sense of what was happening and passing on the information to a very concerned local population.

In the latter category was reporter Zack Harold, who used a curation website called Storify to provide information in real time. Zack pulled social media updates from officials and reporters into one easy-to-read post meant to help people learn quickly what was happening.

His Storify effort received more than 4,000 views.

And I’m proud to say Zack has been honored nationally for the effort.

This week Digital First Media, which manages the Daily Mail’s newsroom along with more than 70 others around the country, announced that Zack was a national winner in its very first DFMies awards. He won the category for use of social media.

DFMie judges explained why this was a winner:

Zack Harold’s Storify of the Sissonville explosion is a great example of how journalists can use social media to provide useful information during a breaking news event. Harold showed a great deal of insight into what people would want to know during the event — where to go for shelter, which roads were closed, reports of any injuries — and what they might want to know afterwards, like how asphalt actually melted during the gas line explosion. He also guided those who weren’t familiar with Storify as a tool, by reminding them how to use it along the way. By giving multiple accounts of the accident, gathering pictures from social media, and pulling from the official emergency response messages, he was able to give a well-rounded picture of what was going on in real time.

Zack came to the Daily Mail as a green but eager recent graduate of the University of Charleston. When he interviewed, I remember him mentioning an interest in digital stuff. He was the guy who ran his church’s website, and he had an interest in video too. I thought those attributes were interesting but I didn’t give them a lot of thought.

Now, as more and more people are getting their news through their computers, their tablets or their cell phones, I certainly have a greater appreciation of those interests.

I’m pleased that Zack has taken an interest in alternative ways to spread the news and proud that he’s being recognized for it.

If you want to keep an eye on what Zack is doing, be sure to read our state government blog, the Capitol Notebook, which includes a weekly email newsletter, The Capitol Notebook Week in Review.

Or read his work in the newspaper, where Zack is one of the Daily Mail’s state government reporters.