As director of web communications for the UMass system, the Emmy Award-winning editor and University of Massachusetts Amherst grad knows about adapting to the digital age.
Glad I didn't have the long '80s hair. I wanted to be part of a university that had such a vibrant life, and UMass was really my first choice. My name's Ron Agrella. I'm the editor of boston.com, and I graduated from UMass in 1991. I've wanted a career in journalism ever since I was a young child. Some of my earliest memories include Richard Nixon getting on the helicopter as he left the White House and the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. I saw journalism as an essential, vital role in American society. So this is Mayor Walsh. How are you? Ron Agrella. I'm editor of boston.com. Oh, beautiful. Yeah. Nice to meet you. Nice to see you. You walking around today, making sure everyone's working? I'm trying. I'm trying. That's good. Well, welcome. Welcome. Thank you. It's good to be here. Well, that was unexpected. When I graduated, there was really no such thing as the Internet. I left UMass and became a print reporter. You would hit your deadline, and something was bound to happen 10 minutes later, and you had to wait 24 hours. Boston.com's now home page gets tens of millions of page views every single month. This crew right here is responsible for taking in all of the news stories that come across the desk at any given moment. The site is kept fresh and updated around the clock. This is a true 24-7-365 operation. Never before in history have we had the ability to tell stories in the way we do. Boston.com is very active on social media, and all of our staff tweet regularly. Let me give you an example. Gone are the days where you would simply write a story, publish it in a newspaper, and that would be it. Today, we're streaming multimedia. We are interacting with our readers. We're getting tips and sharing news on social media. And it's our goal to give them the latest news and something different every time that they arrive. The foundation that I got at UMass helped propel me into the new age of the Internet and allowed me to really use these skills effectively and create some very innovative content. I'm Ron Agrella. I stand for online journalism, and I stand for UMass.