Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gannett - the video

We've written here several times about Gannett's shift to the Information Center concept of newsroom with its Ditigal, Public Service, Community Conversation, Local, Custom Content, Data and Multimedia desks.

Now, you can watch the video. See how the Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., is implementing it:

Here's the link to the YouTube video as well.

After watching this, I come away with the uneasy interpretation that really what we're just trying to do is push the print model into an online bottle. I have mixed emotions on that -- glad to see a push, any push, in that direction but a vague uneasiness that the "get it" quotient is still a little low. It's still "here's what we're going to do for you" and not enough here's how we bring you into the tent (even the "help us investigate" really seems to be deprecated to "give us tips').

The "we're going to update every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m." sounds like all-news radio when I began in it in the 1970s (KYW-"You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world.") And what about 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.? A bunch of things happen during that time. Doesn't sound like that 24-hour news idea Gannett CEO Craig Dubow suggested. From a management view, I guess you can argue that you need to impose some structure -- making folks update every 15 minutes ensures it stays on the front burner -- yet a lot of this video still smacks of the "production," not the "newsgathering" mentality.

We also now know where the copy editors end up -- on the Multimedia Desk. This should be interesting to digest for ACES, which is finally (about two years too late) grappling with the changes at its annual meeting coming up in April. Lacking in the video is exactly what role those copyeditors will play and what skills they will need.

So I come away intrigued, but still with a bit of unease. Your thoughts?

And does anyone detect a bit of irony that the video ends with a pitch for a print subscription?

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At 2/21/07, 9:16 AM, Blogger Gary Karr said...

I get no sense of what it really means for the reader other than "More, more, more!" For the reporters, it appears to be a demand for more stuff, but not necessarily better stuff. They're right to recognize that the print model is dying or dead, but is it really that way because there's not enough content? Or that there's not the right kind of content for consumers?


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