Local journalism has many goals and definitions, but at Reporter Newspapers, we start with a simple one: Make a newspaper that is as vibrant, smart and active as the communities we serve.

Boy, is that easier said than done. In Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, the change and excitement is nonstop these days.

But it’s a challenge that we love as we change alongside our communities. We’ve made a number of innovations in recent weeks as part of that commitment.

We’re proud to announce the relaunch of our website here at ReporterNewspapers.net. The old version was doing its job of drawing tens of thousands of monthly readers. The new version, however, better showcases local news from our individual communities and from such crucial beats as public safety, the arts, business and religion. It’s a lot easier to read on your phone, too.

And we have new kinds of stories to read there. Our editor-at-large, Joe Earle, is writing a new column. In “Around Town,” he will introduce you to the intriguing people and places who make our neighborhoods tick. Joe’s column will trade off with Robin Conte’s award-winning “Robin’s Nest.” Robin has been busy, too. We’re happy to finally reveal that a book of selected “Robin’s Nest” columns is coming soon.

Of course, we have serious news to tackle as well, and few stories are more serious than a drug epidemic sweeping our cities and killing our neighbors. To spotlight this nightmare, we brought on Max Blau, who is one of Atlanta’s best freelance journalists and a veteran of national reporting on the opioid epidemic. “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs” is his four-part exclusive series for us, the second installment of which appears this week. The series is not only about the friends and family lost to the ravages of drugs, but also about people in our community who are facing this epidemic head-on and doing something about it. We’re proud to tell their stories.

That’s a lot of change at the Reporter in the first quarter of the year. It’s only the start as we continue to evolve. As always, feel free to send me an email or give me a call at johnruch@reporternewspapers.net or 404-917-2200 ext. 113. Your ideas about what we do and how we do it are always welcome.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.