"Do it once, do it best or find someone who can."
“You can shovel a lot of content in, but that doesn’t mean it’s good content.”
“Everything that we do is about underpinning a cultural shift within our organization — from being a print-centric organization to being a digital first operation."
- Thunderdome project shares content among Media First’s local newspapers across the country
During the 2013 INMA "brainsnack" seminar, Editor Robyn Tomlin speaks on Digital First Media's Thunderdome update.
Speaker InfoRobyn Tomlin is the editor of Digital First Media's Project Thunderdome. She joined the company in July 2012 to oversee the creation of the New York City-based news operation responsible for producing non-local content across the company’s network of more than 800 multi-platform products. In 2010, Robyn was named director of editorial innovation for The New York Times Regional Media Group where she led audience growth and digital innovation efforts for 16 newsrooms in six states.
The Thunderdome, Digital First Media’s experiment to provide content and coordinate across over 100 local newsrooms, is looking to change the current journalism landscape.
Digital First Media owns more than 75 local newspapers with more than 120 Web sites. But prior to last July, the company had no way of unifying its media brands across the country.
Now, with project Thunderdome and an emphasis on digital first, newspapers across the country are able to coordinate and share content.
Robyn Tomlin, editor of Thunderdome, said the core idea of Thunderdome is the centralisation of non-local news editing and web production, the creation of traffic generating channels, and a wide editorial support network.
“Our missions is to empower local newsrooms,” she said.
Thunderdome currently shares more 300 stories per week across its various media sites, with the goal of reaching more 500 story shares a week.
By pooling together journalists from across its local newspapers, Digital Media First is able to create temporary bureaus to cover breaking news, using the Boston bombings as a recent example.
Everything the company does, Tomlin said, is about changing the current media culture. And Thunderdome is doing exactly that.
“Do it once, do it best, or find someone who can,” she said.