Sunday, August 12, 2012

How you can follow Charlotte's biggest story

Three weeks from now, the long-awaited 2012 Democratic National Convention rolls into Charlotte. And regardless of your politics, let me suggest that this could be the most significant convention you’ll ever follow.

That’s because long after the last balloon drop, you and I will still be here, living with the legacy of what the world witnessed over five days in September.

Charlotte is about to gain a global audience. The president, half of Congress and a multi-national army of 15,000 journalists will make it so.

That makes this a very big story locally. Dare I say the biggest news story in our city’s history? And yes, I was also here in 1989 for Hurricane Hugo.

For more than a year, The Charlotte Observer has planned how it will provide you comprehensive coverage of this historic moment – in print, online and over your phone.

We’ve built mobile apps, planned for nearly 50 pages of additional news coverage, designed a special convention section on, and forged partnerships with other major news organizations that will pay off with additional coverage for you.

In addition to reporting the news of the day, we’ll tell you what you personally need to know. If you want to be involved, you’ll learn how you can be. Rather steer clear? There will be advice for you, as well.

As politics goes, you may be more interested in what happens in Tampa the week before the DNC as the Republicans hold their convention. We’ll put you there, too.

The Observer is sending a team of journalists to the RNC, both to cover the political scene and to give you an idea of how that city is faring with its event. We will also bring you stories from that region’s premiere newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) under a content-sharing arrangement. Similarly, that paper’s readers will see Observer coverage during the DNC.

Watch for more on our plans in the days to come. But for now, I’ll touch on three current features:

-- Beginning Tuesday, we’ll anchor convention developments on page 2A of the printed paper. And, of course, you can expect at least one convention-related story on 1A daily as the city prepares.

-- On, check out our special web edition of DNC coverage. There you will find all we’ve reported on so far, including full-color maps of road closings, profiles of delegates, the roster of speakers and a list of groups signed up to protest. You’ll also see our 2012 Visitor’s Guide to the city for conventioneers.

--You can carry in your pocket all that, plus breaking news of the convention, when you use our DNC 2012 mobile app. It’s free. Simply direct your smartphone to You’ll also find a customized version for Android phones (search in the Android app store for “Charlotte DNC 2012”) and, available soon, a customized version for iPhone and iPad (same search terms in the Apple store).

In three weeks, every major media organization in the world will report on the convention in Charlotte. But you can count on the Observer to also report on what it means for Charlotte, now and in the years to come.

Reach Rick Thames at, and Phone: 704-358-5001.


Sam said...

Just be FAIR with the coverage Rick. The Observer has an undisputable left wing liberal bias that is clear to everyone.

PROOF- VP selection Paul Ryan runs below a PreSeason football game. Can you honestly say that your coverage of this event would be the same if the politics reversed?

Wiley Coyote said...

I've watched all of 3 minutes of the Olympics.

I'll watch all of 0 minutes of either convention.

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past 4 to 6 years, you already know what's going on so both conventions are anti-climactic.

Yeah, a big deal for Charlotte as events go, but a bigger headache for many of us who have to negotiate all of the problems that come with it.

Anonymous said...

To be perfectly honest, I won't be following it... not a minute. I won't follow the Republican convention either... not a minute.

The conventions used to be an event that was, for a politics junkie like me, extremely interesting. No more. Since they now script every single moment I have lost interest.

If something interesting, and unscripted, happens I'll catch it on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I guess I missed the Observer's similar wall-to-wall coverage of the Libertarian convention.

Anonymous said...

Well, it won't be the biggest news story, but if it helps you keep your job, you can try to turn it into one.

I've got news for you. As someone who has lived here longer than you, this convention won't "put charlotte on the map" anymore than the BobCats or Panthers.

That's why people in Seattle still don't know where Charlotte is, and really don't care.

copdsux said...

Oh, the "nattering nabobs of nageativity" are showing up, trying to rain on our parade. Why not be happy for Charlotte's exposure on the world stage?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sam. Probably 10 times the number of people reading the online paper today cared about the Panthers more ... but since Mitt actually SAID something today ... it's their top story now.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we already know what we are and just getting the best price.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, "Charlotte's exposure on the world stage" IS NOT POSITIVE.

From what planet are you visiting?

Anonymous said...

I am happy about the exposure Charlotte will get as a result and money it brings to the city. I hope it is another new beginning of future great things in store for us! I love this City and only wish great things upon it.

Anonymous said...

3-4 days at most, that's how long this inconvenience will be for the complainers on this board.

I know its difficult to face some adversity, dealing with additional traffic etc.

It's a small sacrifice for the businesses that will get bump from the 35k expected here for 3 days, spending $$ in and around Charlotte

Deal with proud that Charlotte will be in the spot light and you live here