John Gogick

Executive Editor for The Augusta Chronicle. | E-mail

Lifestyle section comes full circle in 'The Chronicle'

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Treasured memories.That was the headline on an article in a Sunday Your Life section back in 2006. It was a feature story about what mementos from their children’s upbringing did their parents save and hold most dear.

It was one of several stories that Dot Jones, 85, a lifelong newspaper reader, told us about during a Reader Roundtable at The Augusta Chronicle this week.

We invited 10 readers from across the community to come and share with us their thoughts, praise and criticism. Seven came and engaged in a robust two-hour discussion. Lots of great feedback and ideas were offered.

Dot spoke of her daughter’s doll and the photographer who went to the house and the reporter who wrote about the item. She told of the friends who called her after reading her name in the paper.

Treasured memories and community connections.

Those were recurring themes during the roundtable. Many of the ideas and suggestions offered echoed the answers to the survey you took after last week’s column.

A quick recap of some of your answers:

What section do you spend most of your time? Metro first, Nation and World second.

Where do you want The Chronicle to add more resources: News, first. Features, second.

What do you wish was still part of The Chronicle?

The answers were as numerous as the respondents, but one reader summed up what many of you have told me: “Enhance Your Life Section.” The reader went on to say it had dwindled to almost nothing after having been such a pleasure to read.

Starting this Sunday, we aim to make it a pleasure to read again.

The Your Life section returns to a more traditional size and format. It will be a cross between the Women’s sections of the 1960s and 1970s and the scratch-and-sniff ink on April Fools’ Day Lifestyle section of the 1980 and 1990s.

This destination section will contain book reviews and travel pieces and fashion stories. It will also feature food and drink and entertainment stories. It remains the home of the Sunday crossword and the weddings announcements.

James Folker, a longtime content and copy editor at The Chronicle, is leading the effort. And taking charge of our Features section is James’ career at The Chronicle coming full circle.

Sharon Polansky hired James as the first male features reporter when the Women’s Section transformed into the Family section back in 1981.

“Sunday is a time for readers. It always has been,” James said. “I want to make a section that readers can sit back on a Sunday morning and enjoy.”

The expanded features content will continue weekdays – with dedicated features pages covering Seniors, Entertainment, Food, Health & Fitness, Gardening and Faith.

Time to make some new memories.


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