Reporter uses Google Voice to capture reader reaction to Walmart controversy

Walmart’s proposal to build a store in tony West Hartford, Connecticut, has been met with objection by some residents who worry it will mar the town’s character.

Reporter Kathleen Schassler has Google Voice to capture the opinion of readers of the West Hartford News and present it in their own words – and voice.

CLICK HERE to see and hear the result of her effort.


About mattderienzo

Matt DeRienzo has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor, publisher and corporate editorial director and has been recognized nationally for leading newsroom innovation. He teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University, writes a monthly column for Editor & Publisher magazine, and serves as interim executive director of LION Publishers, a national network of local independent online news site publishers. Previously, he served as group editor of Digital First Media's publications in Connecticut, including the New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine, and Northeast regional editor for Digital First Media. He also served as publisher of The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and a group of weeklies in Northwest Connecticut, and before that was corporate director of news for small dailies and non-daily publications for the former Journal Register Company. In early 2011, The Register Citizen was named one of Editor & Publisher magazine's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right," and DeRienzo was named to its annual "25 Under 35" list of leaders in the newspaper industry. In the fall of 2011, The Register Citizen was awarded the Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe, an "open newsroom" launched in Torrington, Connecticut, in December 2010. He led a team of more than 100 journalists in covering the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012 and 2013, and has been honored for his editorial writing and leadership of public service and investigative reporting. In 2014, his efforts at the New Haven Register were recognized with the APME's and ASNE's Robert C. McGruder Award for Leadership in Newsroom Diversity. DeRienzo is a former longtime board member of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, and served as co-chairman of the United Way's annual fundraising campaign in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2011, he received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
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3 Responses to Reporter uses Google Voice to capture reader reaction to Walmart controversy

  1. Fran Jurga says:

    Can you give details of how she did this? She gave a Google Voice number for people to call in and leave messages, I presume? But how did she record and download those messages and edit them into a soundtrack? I thought Google Voice inserted an overplay message if it was used to record. Am I missing something? Thanks for any additional information.

  2. Kat says:

    Google voice project – Walmart reaction
    -saw lots of comment activity posted (on other media sites) about the Walmart announcement and set up Google voice to ask for feedback.
    -Posted the phone number and question on WHN, Facebook and Twitter, included in weekly print edition, and added as a horizontal lead for a day or two on the West Hartford News website (along with a version of original story).
    -Over next week, received about 15 voicemail messages, plus 4 new posts on FB and the website story.
    -Used recently purchased editing tools called AVS4You ($40 for one-year) that includes video and audio editing, plus file format conversion software.
    -Renamed and saved Google voice files to PC
    -Created new project in AVS audio editor
    -Imported audio files, made edits and saved filed.
    -Used Canon 60d to make short videos in the neighborhood to be developed (move from lot onto public sidewalk when confronted by plaza security).
    -Used the AVS video editor to create single video file, adding title and transitions.
    – Added Google voice audio track.
    -Produced .mov file.
    -Uploaded to Syndicaster

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