Monday, August 08, 2005

K-R's digital transformation

Last week, I pointed out what I thought was one of those seminal moments -- the wording that it was time "to reorganize our structure and our minds" buried in the New York Times' announcement that it was merging its digital and regular newsrooms.

Now comes Knight Ridder with this job ad for a "Director Digital News Development." This person will lead training for K-R's news web sites. At one point, the ad says the training will be for "online reporters, editors and producers."

But other wording suggests this is far more than tweaking the skills of the chain's sometimes skimpy online desks.

This position will help lead and support transformational change on the websites and in the newsrooms of the nation's 2nd-largest newspaper company. In the 27 markets where Knight Ridder Digital operates sites, editors increasingly are demanding cross-platform skills for creating and packaging compelling, innovative, interactive news and other locally relevant content. This position will provide leadership, training, communication and recommendations as KR editors transform their newsrooms to meet the needs of their changing audience.
You can read into that what you want, but I read into it the same sentiment as was in the New York Times' announcement -- management has decided it's time to stop screwing around, and journalists who don't have the smarts and skills to think about ways to tell their stories across media will become gradually more expendable.


At 8/8/05, 10:20 PM, Anonymous Joe Zekas said...

Try as I might, I can't read anything out of this buzzword stew.

Your read sounds more like wishful thinking than straightforward deconstruction of the text.

At 8/8/05, 11:15 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Yeah, it's a buzzword stew and I guess I also bring a little backchannel info to the mix. But I think "editors are increasingly demanding cross-platform skills" is pretty straightforward. K-R is going to be looking a lot more heavily at whether its hires have those skills.


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