Why the Hook? We unveil a new motto for this newspaper
We recently came up with a new motto for the Hook. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you how the Hook came into existence.
It was early 2002, and I had just lost my job at C-ville Weekly. So I created the Hook.
But the funny thing was that at first the Hook didn't really know what its mission was. You get a sense of the aimlessness in our first ad campaign. It was a radio spot that senior editor Courteney Stuart and I recorded in a local radio studio. In that ad, we proudly proclaim (to the tune of "Mr. Sandman") that the Hook has two crowning attributes: a cartoon by the creator of the Simpsons and local movie times. Underwhelming, isn't it?
We knew we weren't C-ville, which had its own identity, but we didn't seem able to express an identity for the Hook.
Since then, we've experimented with another slogan: "We love this place!" That's a cute one, and it looks great on the ceramic coffee mugs our sales staff hands out to top advertisers. And, hey, we really do love this place. But that phrase doesn't really say much about what you get with the Hook.
So we started looking at the stories we were doing, the 120 Virginia Press Association awards we've won, and we started seeing a pattern. The Hook covers stories that nobody else is doing– stories that connect dots and ask hard questions.
Ever hear about the taxpayer bailout of Biscuit Run? How about the Nature Conservancy's quiet conflicts? Or about the state program that pays millionaires to renovate their houses? Then there's the sabotage of Peter Van der Linde's recycling trucks and the story about the Albemarle School Superintendent who spent $2 million for a faulty software system.
Seeing a pattern?
Enterprise, investigation, and quality writing. These are the Hook hallmarks, and they're the reason we recently created a new motto that we hope will eventually rank up there with "All the news that's fit to print." So without further ado:
"You can handle the truth."