3 examples of what the next generation newsroom looks like



“Our roles have changed. Our journalism has changed on every platform, in every moment,” said Nicole Carroll, vice president of news and executive editor of the Arizona Republic/Gannett, to the audience at the INMA World Congress in The TimesCenter on Tuesday.

Carroll shared key points about how journalists at the media company are taking new approaches and evolving in the newsroom. The journalists are gauging how their actions are lining up with audience engagement at every step.

Data is used to guide stories, helping decide which articles will make the newspaper and where they will be located. Data also is used to make changes to stories, such as adding bullet points, helping to speed it along, and determining where readers are leaving the article early.

The company is asking its journalists to connect with the community in innovative ways. Journalists are taking readers behind the scenes and to unexpected places, adding a more in-depth experience for the reader and educating them about important issues.

“The audience was hungry for knowledge and we met their need,” Carroll said.

Journalists at Arizona Republic are also being encouraged to think like marketers. For example, a reader wrote to say her dream was to photograph elephants. So, the photographer took her along on the shoot: “Every journalist can make things happen,” Carroll said.

The newsroom was rebuilt in hopes of the audience feeling more connected to them, she said: “The truth is, we feel more connected to our audience.”

Sam Jacobs, senior editor of Time Inc., explained how the media we see now is taking form from media we have seen in the past.

“If you look at today’s media environment, a lot of what is old is new,” Jacobs said.

He supported this statement by showing a format of news quizzes people take now, adding in a throwback to news quizzes from 1948.

However, Time is also moving forward with a changing approach, involving moving quickly and thinking about the readers. Innovation is taking place in the form of focusing on new platforms, including social media.

“We’re dedicated to every newsstand, and one of our most important newsstands is social media,” Jacobs said.

Although the media company is focusing on new routes to display content, some facets have remained the same as leadership tries to continue making experiences readers cannot find anywhere else: “We also still seriously invest in longform journalism,” Jacobs said.

Jan-Eric Peters, editor-in-chief of Die Welt and N24, finished the panel by giving a timeline of changes taking place within its newsroom, one they have named to represent their workflow and content.

“Key to our success is our so called ‘newsroom of three speeds,’” Peters said.

The three speeds refer to the production of digital content (the fastest), followed by daily content, and then weekly content.

In 2002, the company had just two newspapers and a Web site, with editorial work focusing on the daily print newspaper. In 2006, the company updated to a fully integrated print and online newsroom, with one team focusing on all media. In 2012, the focus was on digital media, as the company committed to going digital from an early stage.

“That means the entire editorial team needs to focus on digital reporting,” Peters said.

Peters discussed the lessons the company learned in transforming its newsroom: communication, integration, and being radical throughout the process as the newsroom changed into what it is now.


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