The end of one year and the beginning of the next seems to be a natural time to reflect on what's happened and, even more important, take a look at what lies ahead.
That's one of the reasons it may seem you are inundated with Top 10 lists this time of year. Are you interested in which were the Top 10 movies of 2013? How about the Top 10 books or the Top 10 songs of the year? Do you care about the top entertainment story of the year? Or what about the Top 10 news photos of the year or the Top 10 new cars or trucks of the year?
Rest assured, wherever your interests lie, you can find a list detailing what someone or some organization has chosen as its top items of the year, as well as plenty of predictions on what's going to happen during the next 12 months. And, you're sure to find these lists in newspapers, magazines and online.
In addition to offering that chance to look back, the year-end stories fill another, rather important, role - they provide reader-friendly content for publications during a period of the year when the news cycle (with some exceptions) tends to slow down dramatically.
For the past several years, the Herald-Star has offered a little different twist on how we look at the year that was. Rather than choose 10 stories, our writers and editors have compiled a recap of the top stories that happened in each month of the previous year.
We decided to take a different route this year, and you can see the results by visiting heraldstaronline.com. There you'll find a videoblog that features a look back at the Tri-State Area's Top 10 stories in 2013. Paul Giannamore, a copy editor and online columnist, and I offer a review of the past year, plus some commentary on the news items and newsmakers of our area.
Produced by our online editor, Michael D. McElwain, the videoblog is another way we can offer good, solid journalism in the online era.
The use of multiple platforms to deliver news and commentary continues to evolve as technology becomes more sophisticated and more readily available. In fact, during the next year, Giannamore and I will be delivering video news reports, commentaries and interviews with local newsmakers on a regular basis on our website. It represents a new way for the two of us to put to even better use our more than 60 years of combined experience in covering local events.
Computers, smart phones and tablets have transformed the way we access information and have changed forever our perceptions of a traditional news cycle. You no longer have to wait for your paper to arrive or television newscasts to begin at 6 p.m. to learn the news of the day. Technology offers a way for us to constantly update stories and give consumers of news the ability to access information when, where and however they choose.
Our videoblog is just another example of how our industry is evolving.
We hope you'll check it out.
(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)