At most events it's easy to see which person is there covering it for the newspaper: They're the ones with the pads and pencils.
For decades our reporters have always had news reporter notepads and cameras. With the evolution of our industry, however, our team is starting to use a different type of pad to record information, photographs and video.
iPad mini computers for each of the staff writers to use in the field.
On Tuesday and Wednesday our writers will be undergoing advanced training on how to implement the latest technology in delivering a variety of information to our readers.
The iPads won't replace a lot of our traditional news-gathering devices such as notebooks, cameras with long telephoto lenses or video cameras with several auxiliary microphones.
The change involves making our reporters be more mobile journalists.
These new tablet devices will provide immediate access to our office from the field. They can take high-quality video clips and photos that can be immediately accessed in our newsroom and be used for our newspaper pages or website.
In addition, the writers can update our readers with the status of a ball game or a major announcement. You can follow our writers on Facebook and Twitter to receive reports during the writing process. Those who have been following our reporters have received a variety of game updates, scores and breaking news alerts.
With the implementation of computer tablet technology, we will be able to inform our audience in a more efficient manner.
The tablets even have a program called Dragon that converts speech into text, allowing the writers to voice their notes or stories into the system. It should help in getting breaking news online from the scene of an accident and also help with recording quotes from news sources.
One of the changes that happened this year with our newspaper being printed in Altoona is an earlier press deadline. In the past our last page needed to be sent by 12:30 a.m. Now our production team has an 11 p.m. deadline.
To save time in the writing process, our writers are now able to use laptop computers and these tablets to send their stories and related artwork to our page editors. The stories can make it on time for the newspaper and the extra photos and sidebar information can be uploaded to dailyamerican.com.
The news industry continues to evolve. Fortunately the Daily American has employees who are willing to adapt to new technology to make sure our readers receive their news in the format they desire.
(Brian Whipkey is the Daily American's editor. When he's not trying to understand the news apps on his iPad, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Whipkeydailyam.)