Change is in air, personally, professionally

September 25, 2008|By CHRIS COPLEY

I walked to work today. It's part of my effort to get more activity in my day and improve my health.

I've been lucky in life - my appetite and metabolism have been good enough to keep my weight reasonable, plus I've enjoyed running around with my kids and playing games at the park. But now the kids are growing up, I'm slowing down and my jeans are getting tighter. So I read with interest Julie Greene's story on America On the Move, which appeared in Monday's Health section.

America On the Move is a program promoted by YMCAs to encourage people to eat less and get more activity every day. It's a slow-and-steady approach to making a life change - a change hopefully leading to long-term health.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, back to work. The Herald-Mail is making a slow-and-steady change hopefully leading to long-term health.


We are one week from rolling out a new design. Beginning Monday, Sept. 29, readers will find a cleaner approach to design and a narrower, easier-to-handle page size.

Herald-Mail publisher John League will give a more thorough presentation of our thinking behind the redesign next week, but I wanted to highlight one change for the Lifestyle section.

We're going to do more online.

This is a life change for us. The Web gives us more options than simply writing a story. We can tell a story with a video or a slideshow. We can link to other Web pages.

Lifestyle assistant editor Crystal Schelle and I have begun blogs. Crystal's blog is about the good, the bad and the ugly on TV. My blog is about culture, technology and meaning.

Tiffany Arnold is developing a vodcast - a 90-second, weekly video update of the area's arts and entertainment scene. The vodcast will be posted weekly on the Herald-Mail Web site,, beginning in early October.

This is an exciting (and sometimes scary) change. But this transition to the Web is not optional. It's like my decision to get more daily activity and reduce my caloric intake. If I keep to the same-old, same-old, I can predict I'll end up heavier. If I want to stay healthy, I've got to make changes.

Today's journalism is also predictable. More and more Herald-Mail readers look for their news online. For us to remain useful to our readers, to stay the area's No. 1 news source, we need to make changes.

If you haven't been online, visit your local library and use a public-access computer. Librarians are usually more than willing to help first-timers find what they want. Go to to check out The Herald-Mail's Web site.

But leave yourself plenty of time. There's a lot there.

Chris Copley is Lifestyle editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2343, or by e-mail at

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