About

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Jack Lail is Director of Digital for the Knoxville News Sentinel.

In that role, he develops and executes digital strategies for the Knoxville News Sentinel, an E.W. Scripps newspaper. He is also responsible for all content on the newspaper's websites.

A team of energetic online producers/videographers strive to make a family of Web sites that include knoxnews.com, govolsxtra.com and knoxville.com great, innovative and engaging places for users to visit.

The newspaper's Entertainment and Photo staffs also are under his direction.

Until a newsroom reorganization in the summer of 2008, Lail had been Managing Editor for Multimedia and before that was Online Director for the newspaper and led all online publishing for the newspaper. The News Sentinel had its first Web page in 1994 and launched knoxnews.com in 1995 and govols.com (now govolsxtra.com) and gosmokies.com in 1996.

Before the Web browser was invented, he was Assistant Managing Editor for Technology. In that role, he assisted and trained reporters to use computer-assisted reporting tools, explored "New Media" opportunities for the newspaper, provided software support to bureau and traveling reporters, and supervised the newspaper's library staff.

Lail is on the board of the Associated Press Managing Editors association and has served on the national technology committee of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2008, he ended the second of two two-year terms on the board of the New Media Federation of the Newspaper Association of America.

He writes blogs jacklail.com and randommumblings.com, and has written for Nieman Reports, Quill and American Journalism Review, among other publications.

He started in the mid-1990s an electronic mailing list for the Society of Professional Journalists called SPJ-L, which was disbanded in the spring of 2004.

Lail was awarded a President's Award at the 1995 Society of Professional of Journalists national convention for his work on the mailing list, Web site and the Society New Information Technologies Committee. He is a former chair of the Society's New Information Technologies Committee.

Lail is a native of North Carolina and came to The News Sentinel in 1984 after working at small dailies in Asheboro and Thomasville, N.C. He has been its TVA reporter, a business reporter, Business Editor, an Assistant Metro Editor and Metro Editor.

He has a bachelor's degree in English from East Carolina University.

He is married to Amy McRary, a feature writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel and a rabid Tar Heel basketball fan. They have two children, Eric, which lives in Washington, D.C., and Mark,  a student at the University of Alabama.

His parents, Jack C. and Betty Edwards Lail, live in New London, N.C. Brothers Brent and Dean, live in the Asheboro, N.C., area and work in the plastics industry.

Updated: July 2012

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