California Watch is adopting.
Starting this spring, there’ll be a new California watchdog looking out for the littlest of our readers. Appearing first in an educational coloring book – and later in downloadable activity pages, maybe even cartoons – this cute, friendly and sharp addition to our team will help explain complex issues to kids.
The idea for a mascot was born in an editorial meeting. While our articles are written for adults, many times children are those most affected by the injustice or mismanagement we uncover. Kids deserve to be clued-in and given the information necessary to stay as safe as possible – whether we’re talking about dangerous candies to avoid, healthy eating habits or emergency preparedness. What better way to reach them than with a furry fellow who could be fun and educational, a buddy and a teacher?
So we decided to create a character children could relate to and trust and that would carry out the California Watch mission: to expose wrongdoing and arm Californians with the information needed to debate solutions and spark change.
The decision to go with a dog mascot was an easy one. But when it came time to pick a breed, we were initially stumped. That was until we realized nothing could be more representative of California than a loyal, playful and brave mutt. We invited staffers to send in pictures of their favorite dog or breed, and soon my inbox was flooded with images of Doberman puppies, dapper Jack Russell terriers, a surfboard-riding Lab and a tongue-wagging beagle-pointer. All these – and more – were forwarded to illustrator Deanna Ewers who worked to incorporate the staff favorites and create a mascot we’d all love. Four scruffy sketches were whittled down to one, which we carefully fine-tuned with the illustrator until – poof – we were introduced to the loveable pup you see above.
But unlike most parents welcoming a new bundle of joy, we’ve yet to pick out a name for our mascot. That’s why we’re turning to you, our quick-witted readers. We want this to be fun, so we’re giving away a $100 Visa gift card.
So how do you win? It’s easy. Just e-mail your suggested name to email@example.com by January 12. All entries will be entered into a raffle. We’ll select our top three, then open it up to voting – both online and within our newsroom – on Jan. 13, when we’ll also announce the winner. Please include your name, contact information and mailing address in your e-mail.
Then make sure to check back on Inside the Newsroom to learn his name and follow our progress on our first-ever coloring book.