Over the last months you have seen a few stories by our pair of veteran reporters, Ross Anderson and Andrew Schneider, who have Pulitzer Prizes in their past (and, we hope, also in their future). Dan, Helena, Gretchen and Mary continue to track important stories, and we have had several thought-provoking op-eds from Michele Simon.

We get great stories from freelancers like Cookson Beecher and James Andrews, as well as very helpful contributions from Dan Cohen, Dr. Richard Raymond and others.

My daughter Olivia has recently joined the Food Safety News staff and is responsible for food-recall announcements. She tells me she is also working on a story about “celebrities who barf” and is taking a tour of the Pike Place Market with a health inspector next week.

I continue to consider increasing staff because several major papers have been cutting theirs, and also have been reaching out to food-safety leaders to get their written perspective on how our food supply can be made safer.

Clearly content is the important part. However, how Food Safety News “looks and feels” is also significant, so over the next week you will be seeing some visual changes. Starting at the top, the masthead will be bigger — just to make sure you know we take this seriously. The front page has been redesigned from four columns to three, to cut down on the clutter and to better highlight some of the top food safety stories of the day.

Further down the page, a few of the news feed and blog boxes have gone, although the best of them have been retained and can be found in a new section entitled “Hot Food Blogs.” We’re renaming the “Opinion and Contributed Articles” section “Featured Editorials and Guest Opinion.”  Photos of the writers will be displayed beside their contributions. Food recalls will get their own section. We will set apart the “Most Read On Food Safety News” as a way of keeping some of our best stories in front of readers a bit longer.

We have also decided to set aside space for ads. Although I intend to continue to subsidize Food Safety News, given the number of free subscribers and daily and returning visitors, pulling in additional revenue is not only fair, but also a way to enhance Food Safety News. Again, with major dailies cutting back on their coverage of food safety issues, I think there continues to be a place where high quality, focused journalism can reside.

Thank you for your support.  I welcome your feedback.

  • KH

    Wonderful ideas. Good for others.

  • Ann Quinn, consumer

    Having just cashed my “blood money” checks for the
    deaths of my three pet cats after eating contaminated
    pet food in December 2006 – less than 25 percent of
    what was spent on their treatment from January 2007 to
    April of 2011 – I’d like to see a Food Safety News
    advertising requirement that states the number of
    food recalls in the past and the number of food safety lawsuits in the past so that huge food safety violators with megabucks can’t appear to be endorsed by Food Safety News.
    As I believe I found out with major pet food companies, the amount spent on advertising far exceeds any food safety efforts or funding to injured and/or deceased consumers.
    Hate to see Food Safety News readers confused by the
    corporate ability to buy ads. Or perhaps other readers
    could come up with better suggested indicators of food
    safety efforts on the part of advertisors.

  • Ann Quinn, consumer

    I had hoped, Mr. Marler, there might be a really
    good idea out there to solve the media sells out
    to advertisers issue, as I can fully appreciate
    Food Safety News need to be self supporting and
    self sustaining. How else can you continue to
    ask the tough questions on consumer food safety?
    I hope someone brighter than I has a solution.