Burnt Orange Report has some big news to share today, and some important site policy changes we're making over the next two months. Because we are a community blog, we wanted to start this process by coming directly to you, dear readers, and find out what changes you might like to see, and other ideas y'all might have.
Over the last four months, we here at Burnt Orange Report have been working hard to get back into the blogging game. We've grown our staff by six writers, and made some important internal organizational changes to keep bringing our community the platform for discussions about politics in Texas from a progressive, liberal, and/or Democratic perspective.
Today we're excited to announce some additional, official changes to our masthead. Karl-Thomas Musselman will be continuing on as Publisher, while Katherine Haenschen officially takes over the Editor-in-Chief position. Michael Hurta has been promoted to Senior Staff Writer, and Phillip Martin will now be posting as a Contributing Writer. All of this is also updated on our “Who We Are” page.
We're also beginning the process of updating our “Community Guidelines” page, with an emphasis on increased transparency and disclosure. The proposed changes are below. We want to solicit community feedback on these changes, and make sure they're in keeping with the kind of culture we want to foster here on BOR. Please weigh in on them in the comments.
Thanks again for making Burnt Orange Report part of your regular Internet reading, and please let us know in the comments what you think about changes to our community guidelines. Burnt Orange Report Staff
Back in August, we introduced a new crop of staff writers who have been providing us with great coverage of issues across Texas. Now, it's time to update the masthead again and make official some changes to our Senior Staff. All staff, their bios and current positions are now listed on the “Who We Are” page.
Publisher: Karl-Thomas Musselman. KT will be continuing in his role as Publisher and Owner of Burnt Orange Report. KT is responsible for all technological issues, advertising on the site, and BOR's finances. KT also handles the BOR email client. As Publisher he makes sure we have a Burnt Orange Report to fill with content. And, of course, he posts as he sees fit.
Editor in Chief: Katherine Haenschen. A staff writer since 2008, Katherine is officially stepping into the chief editorial role for Burnt Orange Report. Kath is responsible for BOR site content, managing the staff and guest writers, and assigning stories. She will also oversee the endorsement process. Essentially, Katherine deals with the day-to-day operations that keep stuff on the blog.
Senior Staff Writer: Michael Hurta. Hurta, a writer at BOR since , has been promoted to Senior Staff Writer. A recent UT graduate and former UDEMs President, Hurta is now working on local campaigns professionally, but still maintains an avid interest in the goings-on on the 40 Acres.
Contributing Writer: Phillip Martin. Phil, who recently joined Progress Texas, will be a Contributing Writer on our site, providing long-form pieces. Also, congrats to Phil and his long-time love Kaiba for tying the knot over the summer!
We would also like to take this opportunity to bid a fond adieu to Matt Glazer, who is now the Executive Director of Progress Texas, and is no longer a staff member at BOR, nor is he involved in day-to-day operations. You will never be just another Matt to us!
As BOR continues grows, it's important to keep an eye on our community guidelines, and make sure they accurately reflect what kind of site we want to be. Our guidelines are in the aim of providing necessary transparency and enabling trust and open dialogue within the community.
These guidelines are a living document, and always can be modified to help provide the best blogging experience for everyone. Most importantly, before they become official site policy, we are seeking community feedback on these guidelines.
Proposed New Guidelines:
Disclosure Policy. We're glad to have candidates, officeholders, and staff participating in our blog discourse. However, in the interest of full disclosure, we're planning to add policies that explicitly require individuals involved with campaigns on a paid, staff, or consulting level to disclose their current involvement.
Sockpuppeting. Individuals who register accounts under false names with the intent of deliberately deceiving readers, and then commenting about themselves, their employer, or something about which they have a professional/material interest, is a severe offense.
BOR Social Media. Tweets and Facebook posts/comments that are not simply the automated publication of stories or community emails will be signed by the initials of the writer (i.e. kh, kt, etc.).
Changes to Existing Guidelines:
We don't have any proposed changes to our current guidelines, but we'd encourage you to read them and weigh in if anything seems outdated or no longer functioning well for the community.
We do plan to streamline these pages into one master set of guidelines. Again, the goal is to help new folks navigate BOR and become active members of the community, and to make sure that everyone understands the basic expectations of participation.
Notification of Guidelines:
Posting and Commenting. We will post all of our basic guidelines on the left-hand sidebar on the site, and include an abbreviation on the diary-posting and comment-posting template. We will also link to these guidelines in the account registration email and password reset email.
Questions, comments, concerns?
Readers, what are your thoughts? Please weigh in either by commenting, or emailing Katherine or KT directly. Thanks for participating in this community effort.