Roanoke Times, former reporter drop lawsuits

The Twitter dispute involving the Roanoke Times and former Virginia Tech beat reporter, Andy Bitter, has ended with each side dropping their suits.

The Times has decided not to pursue a lawsuit against Bitter over the use of his Twitter account, @AndyBitterVT, and Bitter has decided to drop a libel counter-suit against the paper.

“The Roanoke Times and I have agreed to drop our claims against each other and get on with our lives,” Bitter wrote on Twitter. “I’ll continue to tweet from my account as I always have since I started covering Virginia Tech. If you’re inclined, consider following my successor at the Roanoke Times, Mike Niziolek, at @VTSportsRT. I look forward to continuing to report Virginia Tech football for The Athletic.”

In its lawsuit, the Times said the paper should have retained exclusive access to Bitter’s Twitter account because it was, the suit stated, given to him by a former reporter.

Bitter then said the newspaper libeled him in its reporting of the lawsuit.

The mutual agreement to drop both lawsuits came from a settlement conference Bitter and BH Media Group (representing the Times) were ordered to attend.

Charlottesville Tomorrow launches new website

Charlottesville’s nonprofit news site, Charlottesville Tomorrow, launched a new website last week.

“We wanted something that prioritized the mobile experience, since so many of our readers come to our content through our e-mail newsletter, which they often access by phone,” said director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, Giles Morris. “News is really a mobile environment these days.”

Giles said as a non-profit Charlottesville Tomorrow does not sell ads and wanted a website that made for a “cleaner reading environment.”

In the design, Giles said the team also prioritized their message to readers on the new site, which is that Charlottesville Tomorrow needs readers’ support to continue delivering community news that is ad free.

“We do have to let our readers know that we rely on their support, that we are a nonprofit, and that they can help us by engaging with us and our mission in lots of different ways, so we integrated those messages.”

The new website is the first phase of a “community intelligence platform,” Morris said, where they hope to “combine data, journalism and wiki interfaces into a powerful local news framework.”

RTD hires a new reporter

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has hired a new reporter.

Mel Leonor began working at the paper earlier this month. She previously worked at POLITCO covering education. She is on Twitter @MelLeonor.

Daily Progress hires new education reporter

The Daily Progress has hired a new reporter to cover grades K-12.

Katerine Knott will now work as the K-12 reporter for the newspaper. Knott is a graduate of the University of Missouri and previously worked in Kentucky at the News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown. She is on Twitter @Knott_Katherine.