Wednesday, August 03, 2005

NYT merging newsrooms

One of the more significant items to drop into Jim Romenesko's inbox yesterday was the memo from Bill Keller and Martin Nisenholtz that the New York Times is merging its online and print newsrooms.

It seemed to me there were two very significant quotes:
The reporting and editing staff at the original newsroom is much more at ease with the Web, more eager to embrace it both as an opportunity for invention and an alternative way to reach our demanding audience.

The change embodied in this integration will be gradual but important. For quite a few years now, we've sworn allegiance to the modern-sounding doctrine of "platform neutrality" -- meaning we care only about our journalism, not about whether we transmit it to our audience on paper or via streams of electrons. But in practice most of us have been writing and editing newspaper articles, or taking pictures or making charts and graphs for the newspaper, while a few of us have been taking this work and adapting it for the Web.

By integrating the newsrooms we plan to diminish and eventually eliminate the difference between newspaper journalists and Web journalists -- to reorganize our structures and our minds to make Web journalism, in forms that are both familiar and yet-to-be-invented, as natural to us as writing and editing, and to do all of this without losing the essential qualities that make us The Times. Our readers are moving, and so are we.
Read that last one carefully. The debate still exists in some quarters as to whether journalists really need cross-media training. End of debate. If you want to work for one of the premier news organizations, as Keller and Nisenholtz put it, you'd better start rorganizing your mind.


At 8/3/05, 12:24 PM, Blogger Paul Conley said...

Hi Doug,
Even more interesting than the Times news is that the Washington Post has hired Adrian Holovaty -- the king of convergence -- as editor, editorial innovation. Adrian is the guy behind the Lawrence Journal-World and a bunch of other fantastic products.

At 8/3/05, 3:52 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

And earlier Rob Curley leaves Lawrence for Florida. It will be interesting to see what happens in Kansas now.


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