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Joe St. John to start newspaper — Will begin with blog, expand to print in near future

St. John on his first reporting assignment at Tuesday night's Council Meeting

Columbus will soon have a new news source.
Former Police Chief Joe St. John has announced that he is starting his own newspaper. St. John posted the following announcement on his Facebook page: “When something happens, did you ever wonder if you were hearing the truth and nothing but the truth? Well, here is your chance to find out. The Real Story Published is the name of my new bi-weekly newspaper and interactive website. Look for the website just as soon as the corporate paperwork is complete. This launch will be followed by a real paper — the kind you can hold in your hand. And that’s not all. Stand by! You will have a voice and an opportunity to submit photos, articles, announcements, cartoons, even ads if you wish. This is an invitation for you to get involved. Let the fun begin! Contact me by e-mail if you would like to get involved!!”
The Packet contacted St. John Wednesday about his plans.
“We are going to have very humble beginnings,” he said. “We are going to start out as a web site, something that’s nice and easy, kind of a blog that’s focused on news. At first we’re just going to see how things work out, how much participation we can get.”
The paper’s web site is www.realstorypublishing.com. St. John said he anticipates having the site live this week. [He told me he hopes it will be up by the time the Packet hits the street this week. – Brian Jones] “The blog will be updated every day, or at least every other day,” he said. “We’ll decide for sure once it’s up and running. Hopefully within a month or so we’ll have an idea of how often we’re going to print the actual paper. I think every paper has to have its niche. The Packet has a specific niche, and we’ve got to figure out what ours is.
“It’ll also depend on participation,” he said. “If it’s just me or one other person we’ll probably print every two weeks. If we get good participation, we’ll print weekly. We’re going to have to find people that are willing to work and put out something that’s worth reading. We’ve got to be realistic about that.”
St. John said he started the paper because he’s heard a lot of people worry that important things are being left out existing local media coverage.
“In the past three months a lot of people have told me they’re concerned that the whole story isn’t getting out,” he said. “I know that it can be hard to cover everything, but I think there are enough interested people out there who will work with us. Obviously we’re not going to let anybody write just anything, but we’ll try to work with anyone who’s interested.”
Although he hasn’t worked previously in the news media, St. John said he thinks his experiences in the political arena will give him an advantage.
“I bring two things to the table,” he said. “The first is that I know crime. The Packet does a wonderful job of covering that, but I would like to think our coverage is going to be more on why things happened than on what happened. The second thing is that I spend 27 years inside the machine. I know how the sausage is made. Especially in Columbus, I have an insight that others don’t have.
“I spent 27 years on the other end,” St. John added. “Working for a newspaper is not the quantum leap that people think. I always had a respectful relationship with the media, and even when things got bad I was never combative.”
Anyone interested in working with St. John can contact him at stjohnjb@realstorypublishing.com.

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2 comments

  1. Kathryn Bishop

    Good luck to you, Joe. San Diego and Washington DC needs your involvment. I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work and open their eyes.

  2. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    San Diego and DC?

    With the former Chief’s alcohol problems, those two places would carry him on down to the bottom of his downward spiral.

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