A Welcome Letter from Our New Editor-in-Chief

Michael Howerton, Granite Media's Editor-in-Chief.

Michael Howerton, Granite Media's Editor-in-Chief.

Hello. I’ve just arrived at  Granite Media, the publisher of Work + Money, as its first editor in chief. I’m excited to be working with the talented team here to build something new in journalism.

Coming into a media company so new, just in its beginning stages of formation, is an amazing opportunity and responsibility. Granite has no long-standing traditions to fall back on, no established track record to hide behind. It feels like the perfect place to be. The future is an open road and we’re picking up speed.

It’s exhilarating, and a bit daunting.

What first attracted me to Granite, and convinced me to join the team, was the sense of optimism that is built into the foundation of the company. Finding a successful revenue model for online journalism has been elusive, to say the least. Over the past two decades that I have been working in journalism, mostly in newspapers, I’ve seen the fortunes of the industry steadily and precipitously decline. I think it’s mostly a coincidence, but, still, I take it personally. This is more than my profession — keen reporting and analysis, good writing and storytelling are the lenses through which I engage with the world. I got into this line of work because I wanted to share that level of connection with others. As I work with the team at Granite to grow the company into a sustainable publisher of smart stories, I am grateful that this core mission remains my motivation each day.  

With Work + Money, I am excited to explore the various ways people earn money and how they spend it, save it, and invest it (or don’t). I am also interested in examining the various meanings of work in people’s lives, recognizing that not every activity called “work” is a simple quid pro quo for payment. There is a lot going on in how we each choose to labor and what it means to us personally. This is a huge playing field for great stories. Most of us, of course, spend a great deal of our time at work and our building careers, or doing whatever it is we do to earn a living, and then we spend a lot more time planning, debating, fantasizing and agonizing over what to do with that money we earn and what trade-offs we might be willing to make for personal reasons. Our focus here is to tell stories about the endless complications, aspirations, diversions and consequences — expected and otherwise — of how we labor and how we spend, and what we think about when we do.

In the near future, Granite will roll out additional titles on different topics: such as travel, politics, sports and more. I'm excited to have the opportunity to build these sites from the ground up. The stories that excite me most, and the ones I will favor on these sites, will be built on solid reporting, give a fresh look at their subject, and deliver something unexpected to the reader.

The Granite model is to craft stories that have staying power, stories that will be relevant tomorrow as well as next month, and maybe even a year from now (with some tweaks.) Some stories will be expanded and deepened as we go. At a time when most online content tends toward the shallow and ephemeral, Granite stories will seek to deliver sustained engagement and value.

But it doesn’t matter much what we think we’re doing, or what we hope to achieve. What matters is whether you connect with the stories we publish and find them compelling. I look forward to the journey. I hope you enjoy the ride with us.

And, don’t be a stranger. Let me know what you think. Contact me with comments, suggestions, or story ideas at editor@granitemedia.com.

Best regards,

Michael Howerton

Editor in Chief, Granite Media