Those trendsetters out in Kansas….

Yep. They’re doing some cutting-edge diocesan newspapering at The Leaven in the land of Dorothy and Toto (not to mention jokes, songs and empires built on corn).

The staff of the newspaper of the Kansas City Archdiocese has launched not just a redesign of their Web page, but a rethinking of how they get news and what they’re putting under that umbrella.

note on the paper’s Web site from Leaven co-editor Anita McSorley starts this way:
“We here at The Leaven have a confession to make.
“We’re old. We’re tired.
“And up until now, we were so not cool.”

McSorley proceeds to explain just how cool The Leaven has become. They’ve got a slick new Web site with all the usual features of a good news site (archives, links, easy-to-find contact information) plus staff-created news feature videos (check out reporter Joe Bollig’s adventure at a church-run summer camp).

She describes the process of rethinking and remaking what they do, including opening up their reporting to anyone who wants to contribute something. The Web site includes links for the public to submit stories, photographs and even original music recordings, all to potentially be available to the public.

Frankly, it sounds like a heck of a lot of work, but ultimately exciting and energizing. As newspaper folk everywhere know, rethinking what we do is the only way we’re likely to survive. At The Leaven it looks like they’re plunging ahead with creativity and their typically good-humored sense of adventure.

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