Los Alamos Daily Post Turns 5!

The Los Alamos Daily Post news team, seated from left, Bonnie Gordon, Kirsten Laskey, Hope Jaramillo, and standing, Chris Clark and Carol A. Clark. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
 
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Daily Post Publisher/Editor Carol A. Clark and her team are celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the newspaper, and its recent designation as the Official Newspaper of Record for Los Alamos County.

“The Post turned 5 years old Feb. 7 and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the people of this community,” Clark said. “Every day for the last five years I have been so grateful to them for allowing me to do what I love in the place I love.”

Before launching the Daily Post in 2012, Clark, an award-winning journalist, spent nine years at the Los Alamos Monitor, including her last three years there as managing editor.

“When I decided to leave the Monitor, I knew I loved Los Alamos and didn’t want to move away, but there wasn’t the option of another newspaper, so for that reason I started the Los Alamos Daily Post. I began with my laptop and camera in my home in White Rock,” she said.

Clark said she jumped into her new enterprise “on a hope and a prayer” because six months earlier she had purchased her home. She knew it was a calculated gamble but her son gave her the final push off the cliff when he said with total confidence, “Don’t worry mom, if it doesn’t work out you can live in my basement.”

When she started her online paper, Clark used WordPress to publish it because she was familiar with that system, but soon discovered that they didn’t allow advertisements. With the help of local residents Greg and Karen Kendall, she switched to Drupal Gardens, an online platform used by many newspapers at the time.

“The business community started contacting me to place their ads and have continued to do so every day for these five years and I am so appreciative of their support,” Clark said.

At that point, Bonnie Gordon, who had worked with Clark for a few months at the Monitor, had gone to work at UNM-LA. Gordon began creating ads for Clark in her spare time until four years ago when she joined the Daily Post fulltime.

“Bonnie is multi-talented … she creates beautiful ads, writes wonderful stories, takes great photos and helps layout the print edition each week,” Clark said.

Christopher Clark joined his grandmother’s newspaper three years ago as social media editor, quickly learning the business and becoming a “spectacular photographer.” In 2015, Roger Snodgrass, a former editor of the Los Alamos Monitor joined the Daily Post as a science writer. “Roger has a special talent for telling technical stories in an easily understandable way,” Clark said. Kirsten Laskey, who also worked with Clark at the Monitor, recently joined the news team.

“Kirsten has a love for the newspaper business and over these five years has been a steady contributor as time allowed. The day finally came recently when I had enough income to hire her fulltime,” Clark said. “It was a very happy day for both of us.”

Hope Jaramillo joined the Los Alamos Daily Post last year … she has lived in town since the first grade, knows everyone and is a great asset to the team in her role as advertising manager. Another recent addition to the team is locally renowned sports photographer John McHale who is working as a contract photographer for the Los Alamos Daily Post.

“Seeing his incredible sports photos in our paper makes us all feel proud,” Clark said. “We have a small, passionate news team at the Daily Post where each person does the work of five. In addition we have an army of volunteers from across the community who contribute stories, photos and information. Often times if someone doesn’t see one of us at their event, they take photos and send us write-ups … that’s just so fantastic … the community has taken ownership of the Daily Post and we love that.”

Clark, who admits that she works seven days a week, says her daily life is a blend of newspaper work mixed with social activities, all of which she enjoys immensely. She volunteers on 11 community boards including the United Way, Los Alamos Medical Center Advisory Board, Bradbury Science Museum Association and Leadership Los Alamos.

Perhaps the most heartwarming and sad moment of her last five years Clark says was when she turned on her computer early one morning and opened an email from the late Bill Hudson … he was dying and it was his goodbye letter to the community. The hardest story for her to write involved a local pastor charged with child pornography because she knew how devastating it would be for the community.

Clark is recognized by many in the community for her passion for the truth, her fairness, her honesty, and her kindness to people in tough times. She has never charged anyone for placing an obituary in her newspaper and never limits the length, saying people should be able to write what they wish about their loved one in during their grieving.

In 2014, the Small Business Development Center named the Los Alamos Daily Post “Small Business of the Year” and the team was recognized for that honor on the floor of the New Mexico Legislature and by the Los Alamos County Council. Clark said the recognition was a great honor and shined a positive light on Los Alamos at the state level.

The Los Alamos Daily Post launched its first subsidiary, The Jemez Daily Post, in August 2014. The online version of the Valley Daily Post launched in March 2015 with co-publisher Eric Vasquez. The print edition hit mailboxes in the Valley in July 2015 and James Chrobocinski became a partner in that publication in 2016.

The print version of the Los Alamos Daily Post also began in July 2015 with 9,300 copies printed each Thursday and delivered to every home and business, and placed in 15 news racks in Los Alamos and White Rock. In January, Los Alamos County selected the Los Alamos Daily Post as its Official Newspaper of Record. The Los Alamos Daily Post is a member of the National Newspaper Association, New Mexico Press Association and the Online Newspaper Association. It is read in every state in the nation and 129 countries around the world.

SIDEBAR:

Words of Congratulations

  • My first introduction to Carol was when I interviewed for the Fire Chief’s position in 2011. I knew I liked her from my first meeting and was sure I liked her after I read her article that talked about how great I was as a candidate for Fire Chief. Let’s say my competitor for the position didn’t fare so well in Carol’s article. Not long after I got the job and moved to Los Alamos, Carol decided to move away from the Monitor and start her own paper. I was invited to a dinner, hosted by Steve Girrens and Sharon Stover, to wish Carol well in her new adventure. I obviously wished her well and wanted her to succeed, but was worried about her. This was a big and scary adventure with no guarantee. My wife Jodi and I even talked after the dinner and decided that if she couldn’t make it, we would be able to offer her a spare bedroom until she could get back on her feet. Now we all know she didn’t fail and has exceeded everyone’s expectations! She is an inspiration for others to “go for it!” I am proud of Carol and honored to call her my friend. I am also excited to see what she will do next to further expand the reach of the Post. –Fire Chief Troy Hughes
  • Congratulations to Carol Clark and the entire team at the Daily Post on your 5 year anniversary! We appreciate the important role the Daily Post provides in publishing information about our community. The immediacy of online information and photos, with the addition of a weekly print edition, provides a great service to Los Alamos and the Daily Post followers around the world. Thank you and best wishes! –UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney
  • I think what Carol did was courageous and I commend her for showing the initiative. Her success serves as a great role model for young women in our community. –Los Alamos County Police Chief Dino Sgambellone
  • Congratulations to Carol Clark and the whole Daily Post team. Five years ago, Carol stepped out into the unknown, took a risk, and look where we are now. The Post is providing timely and useful information for the Los Alamos Community and even interested people across the globe. –Kurt Steinhaus, Superintendent, Los Alamos Public Schools
  • I still remember the first day that Carol Clark asked to meet with me at the County building, telling me that she had some news she wanted to share with me. She told me that she had been thinking for a long time about starting a second newspaper for Los Alamos, and had finally decided to “take the plunge” and go do it. She was so excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities for the Los Alamos Daily Post to cover local news – she was clearly on a mission and had a vision of what she wanted to do with the new format, which she said would be primarily based on digital, online news, concentrating on the Los Alamos community and with a heavy presence on social media like Facebook to share the news through other channels. We were just beginning to explore setting up a County Facebook page at the time but I had already been researching other communities and hearing about news organizations that were pushing out news feeds through social media in order to reach more members of the public. I remember thinking back then how interesting that would be to have that digital newspaper approach in Los Alamos. Of course, since then, the Post has launched a free print version, too, so that residents can have more options to find the news. It’s hard to believe five years have gone by since we had that conversation. Carol has been very supportive in covering County news and publishing notices about public meetings or County events in our community, and her recent hiring of Kirsten Laskey to be a reporter covering the County news beat is another step forward in a positive direction to take the Post forward for the next five years. I wish her all the best and look forward to working with Carol, Kirsten and the Daily Post staff in the years to come. –Julie Habiger, Los Alamos County Public Information Officer
  • Congratulations to Carol and the Daily Post news team on their fifth anniversary. They have come a long way and I enjoy both writing columns for the publication and reading it. –Council Chair David Izraelevitz
  • Not a week goes by that my life isn’t impacted because of something I read on the Los Alamos Daily Post. Whether hearing about a program for my kids, looking at real estate, finding health providers, or learning about a hot issue, the Los Alamos Daily Post shines light on so many parts of our town that would remain hidden to me otherwise. Kudos to Carol for her hard work and vision that make the Los Alamos Daily Post such an important part of our community. Council Vice Chair Susan O’Leary
  • When Carol first spoke to me about her plans to create an online newspaper five years ago, my first thought was, “what an incredibly gutsy move” and my second thought was “I hope she has a back-up plan.” Well my first thought was and continues to be correct, and fortunately for us no plan B was needed. Carol’s tenacity, creativity and knowledge of the community has made her business enterprise a success. –Chris Chandler, County Councilor
  • Happy 5th anniversary, Carol. You are a gift to Los Alamos! –Dave Fox, local business owner
  • Carol has created an entirely new model for community news. Her success has shown that small community newspapers can continue to survive and thrive. Congratulations to everyone at the Los Alamos Daily Post. –Eric Vasquez, co-publisher at the Valley Daily Post

Meet The Los Alams Daily Post News Team

Social Media Editor Chris Clark. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Advertising Manager Hope Jaramillo. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Reporter Kirsten Laskey. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Lifestyles Editor/Art Director Bonnie Gordon. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Publisher/Editor Carol A. Clark. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

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