Government News, the online hub for everything relating to public policy and administration, re-launched on August 1st this year following the appointment of a new editorial team.
After Darragh O’Keeffe joined the publication in March this year alongside new journalist Georgia Clark, they decided it was time to upgrade the site so they could continue to produce the type of work Government News has been renowned for since the original print magazine first began in 1981.
“We wanted a new site that was basically born to deliver the kind of journalism that we want to do. A big thing for me was it needed to be able to present news, which is generally for us, quite short and sharp and then longer form pieces,” O’Keeffe said.
“So we're doing a lot more in-depth pieces and longer-form journalism and analysis and so we wanted something that would illustrate both quite well and the new site does that.”
As part of the re-launch, O’Keeffe has said the site has also launched a number of new editorial features.
“One of them is Spotlight where we look at an innovative local government and explore some of the specific issues that they're dealing with and report on the approaches that they've developed in response.
“We've also started a new series called Operational Report and that's basically looking at a key operational or service delivery area for government and that consists of a series of articles,” he said.
“For instance we've just done one on data in government and how governments are using data to drive decision-making and service delivery and we're working on the next one which is looking at waste.”
O’Keeffe said the website, which began as a way to compliment the print magazine that shuttered in May 2016, is now a full service site that provides breaking news alongside in-depth journalism.
“The magazine would have carried more in-depth, longer form pieces and analysis and the website kind of just carried that news in between issues of the print magazine.
“Whereas now the website needs to do both so Government News readers expect to get that short, sharp news but they also expect the sort of longer form analysis where we explore issues in-depth and so it's really important that the website does both,” he said.
The new website also aims to bring together the Government News community, with the editorial team now prioritising reader comments and polls on the home page.
“We were very conscious that we wanted it to feel like an online community so readers could engage with us more easily but also with each other,” O’Keeffe said.
Government News is also open to freelance pitches. O’Keeffe suggests freelance journalists pitch their story ideas as succinctly as possible to the group editorial email; email@example.com.
“I do try and respond to pitches that we get from freelance journalists but if I don't get back in a couple of of days, there's no harm in giving me a call.”
He added that Government News covers all levels and areas of government but the focus is on public policy and administration, not politics.
“We cover the whole range. Whatever government does, we're reporting on it. The key thing to remember is that we are a niche publication and the audience is professionals working in government and public service. So we're interested in reporting on the issues affecting them and their jobs.”
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