If you clicked on the link to this story in our morning email, you’ve already seen how the Morning Beat has changed. If you haven’t, go check it out.

Meanwhile, here’s the story behind that change.

For years, the Morning Beat has been a pretty simple listing of Civil Beat’s latest news stories, commentary and multimedia efforts. You can link to the stories, of course, but the newsletter has been fairly static — just the headline, subhead and a small photo, maybe an editor’s note at the top to point to something special.

But since we launched Civil Beat in 2010, the newsletter has kind of — slowly — taken on a life of its own. And since we became a nonprofit in June, the number of people who have signed up for the Morning Beat has more than doubled. Now, nearly 10,000 people get the email every morning.

We decided it was time to take advantage of all the tools online emails now offer — animation and other multimedia, for instance. So Morning Beat has been given a makeover in an effort to make it a more engaging way to deliver the news to you every morning.

Landess Kearns, who had been one of our HuffPost Hawaii editors, is now your guide — and not only to Civil Beat’s latest stories but she’ll frequently be pointing out other interesting stories from around the web. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re aiming to make Morning Beat a go-to resource for our readers. So definitely send suggestions our way.

We think you’ll enjoy Landess’ snap and style. She’s definitely become a social media whiz and if you don’t already know what a GIF is, you’ll soon learn.

Landess grew up in Honolulu and graduated from Punahou School. She went off to college at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, returning to the islands after graduation. After our partnership with Huffington Post ended in January, Landess joined the Civil Beat team as our audience development editor. You can read more about Landess here.

We think you’ll like the new newsletter and the flexibility it offers us to bring you important news in an interesting way. We hope it helps you become even more engaged in Hawaii. Click here to sign up.



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