The Lawrence Journal-World in Lawrence, Kan., is the June winner of APME's Innovator of the Month contest. The paper is honored for its niche Web site, WellCommons.
APME's Innovator of the Year, now in its fifth year, has expanded in 2011 by naming an innovation of the month.
"We're pleased at APME to put a continuing spotlight on innovations around the country," said Bob Heisse, APME vice president and Innovations Committee chairman. "Lawrence’s work may spark ideas elsewhere.”
Here's how the entry submitted by Dennis Anderson, managing editor, described the innovation in the entry:
"The Lawrence Journal-World's new niche site WellCommons.com is on the cutting edge of news development. Its innovative approach crosses three areas: community engagement, niche journalism and a new advertising model.
"WellCommons is what journalism looks like in a social media world. Through an innovative content management system we developed called Ellington Communities, WellCommons eliminates the barriers between journalists and their community, while preserving our goals of creating a safe place and a trusted source of information and news.
"Reporters and members of the community post content — text, video, photos and graphics — directly on the site, akin to Facebook. Content from the community is integrated with staff content. Participants can follow and message each other through the site; they can repost around the site, and send posts to Facebook and Twitter. WellCommons is the first of a series of niche sites planned for a Northeast Kansas news network.”