Bob Reid, a local journalist and musician, has been named the new Director of Content for BenitoLink.com. Reid was an active member of the site's Advisory Committee for the past year and brings a wealth of knowledge about the community and local issues to the position.
"I am excited to announce that Bob will be managing BenitoLink's content," said Julie Morris, Director of Vision San Benito and a member of the site's Advisory Committee. "His dedication to an informed community, combined with his creative talent, will help us develop the site to meet the needs of San Benito County residents for years to come."
Reid has worked as a reporter and columnist for the San Juan Star, an independent newspaper in San Juan Bautista, covering local news and writing a monthly column, "The Breeze From San Juan." He also worked as a government technician for Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP), a Gilroy-based community media center working to "create community dialogue, voice, expression, government transparency, and free speech through cable access and Internet distribution channel." In addition, Reid is well-known in local schools as a talented music teacher. He has performed in more than 2,000 workshops in elementary schools, presented musical performances across the United States, and served as the California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence in four Pajaro Valley Schools. He has performed with the author/folk singer Pete Seeger and the United Nations International School Choir at the United Nations. When he is not writing or performing, Reid is an established horse trainer in San Juan Bautista, where he is responsible for training and handling young horses for Dr. Deborah Harrison.
"BenitoLink has the potential to make San Benito County an inspiration to other communities and to assist residents in building a feeling of connection to their county and to those around them," Reid said. "It is my hope that during this crucial development period, we can build BentioLink to become a central place for news and information for San Benito County residents and visitors."
In February 2013, Reid attended the Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar in Miami where fellow independent publishers met to discuss the future of online "hyper-local" news sites. Sites like BenitoLink are becoming more common in areas around the United States country that have lost a daily newspaper.
"At the seminar I attended sessions on establishing an online news & information site, the importance of being able to appropriately assess your community's needs and was exposed to the experiences of other partnerships formed by community foundations and news/information sites," Reid said.
Reid will start August 1, 2013. In coming months, BenitoLink plans to make design modifications, increase social media usage and develop a mobile app for smart phones and tablets. Reid will be working closely with the Knight Foundation to establish best practices and build a viable business model for a local news and information site. To contact Bob, e-mail him at email@example.com.