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Jun-11-2006 23:28printcomments

Salem-News.com Becomes Part of Google News Service

Acceptance by the Google News team places Salem-News.com further into the mix of one of the most popular information streams in the world.

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Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Nearing a two-year anniversary, Salem-News.com was added to the news service provided by Google, the world`s most used search engine. "This is a great week for us, our visitors jumped by more than twenty percent the day we hit Google News," said Tim King of Salem-News.com.

Salem-News.com is no stranger to Google; articles from this locally owned capitol city news organization have been included on the popular search engine for well over a year.

"But Google News is different. It is where people go for regional news. Now we are featured along side the largest news organizations in the world, it is a real honor and we are glad to provide our stories to a larger audience," King added.

For the better part of the last two years, Salem-News.com has been one of the main providers of Oregon news for The Oregon Associated Press. These stories often show up in other Oregon media including newspapers and television.

Salem-News.com News Director Kevin Hays was given major honors in April at the annual Associated Press awards banquet in Portland, earning the 2005 AP Contributor of the Year Award.

"It was a great feeling to win the award," Kevin said. "But I didn`t just earn it just for Salem-News or myself, the award is a reflection of the potential of this capitol city that we live in."

More than an hour away from the Portland Metropolitan area, Salem is the second largest city in the state but is often overlooked in general news coverage. Producers and news decision-makers in Portland's television newsrooms all too often view Salem as a distant place. Even weather reporters frequently stop talking too soon, rarely covering the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Over the last year, Matt Lintz who works for Surveillance Systems Incorporated in Salem has rebuilt Salem-News.com from the ground up. Working with the group's former Systems Analyst David Duncan, Matt has implemented one of the best search platforms ever used on a news site.

Publisher Bonnie King says keeping the site user-friendly and interruption-free has been an underlying rule, "We have no pop-ups, we don't believe the reader appreciates being interrupted. We are keeping it simple and straight forward, like not forcing people to register just to use the site, or charging them after a story is so-many day's old. Everything is geared toward improving life here, not adding complications."

She says that above all, visitors will never be charged to simply look at archives. "We know there are many students who use Salem-news.com for research, and we also know that their budgets are tight. Besides, what are we here for? News agencies are supposed to provide information. We are here to fulfill a need in the community."

Portland TV may not be interested in Salem's general news most days, but Portland's number-one news/talk radio station, Newsradio 1190 KEX is. The station's News Director Brad Ford contacted Salem-News.com shortly after Kevin Hays earned the AP award, asking if our group wanted to become a news partner.

Since that time in April, Salem-News.com has been providing consistent radio news reports on KEX. The success with that led to Kevin Hays' audio reports, which are now a regular feature on Salem-News.com.

Before joining Salem-News.com, Kevin was an award-winning radio reporter in the Bay area of California, and TV news assignment editor in another capitol city, Sacramento.

Salem-News.com video reports are another feature of the site, introduced early in 2006.

Bonnie and Tim King are both experienced producers. Tim King was a photojournalist/reporter for Portland ABC station KATU until early 2006. A change in management at the station led to a decision to scale back Salem coverage, which was Tim`s beat. "Instead of following along and taking a role in Portland, I gave my notice. I didn't give that notice before trying everything possible to persuade the station not to pull out of Salem."

Tim`s regular job involved producing a "Salem segment" which aired in the station's 5:30 PM News. It was the largest commitment any Portland station had ever made to the Salem area. KATU still maintains a full-time presence in Salem, though their team here focuses more on state and political issues than on items that are of specific local interest. Tim's dedication to Salem has been well-placed with Salem-News.com.

"At Salem-News.com, we cover crime and other important facts of the day, but we really like to focus on news that affects people in positive ways, for people that live here and rely on us for information. Tim's been doing that for years. He's not just a great reporter, his photography skills are top notch as well. With that talent, we really lean away from sensational stories, there just isn't any need for it," said Bonnie King.

"People are enjoying the site for many reasons, but they seem to really appreciate finding the story they want, complete and without delay, and that's our top priority too."

And being listed with Google News will make finding a story all the easier for Salem-News.com visitors from now on, twenty-four hours a day, all around the world. Stay tuned!




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