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Posts Tagged ‘Knight Digital Media Center’

Digital LeadsI am cheering on the Four Platform Newsroom transformation efforts of the Journal Media Group newsrooms. And I encourage you to read a new report, published today, about the project in newsrooms of the former E.W. Scripps Co.: Digital Leads: 10 keys to newsroom transformation.

I have some experience with newsroom transformation efforts. As editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in 2008-9, I led a local effort to change how a newsroom worked. As digital transformation editor at Digital First Media, I led a companywide transformation effort, first an informal effort involving visits to 84 newsrooms, then helping hire and mentor new editors and finally Project Unbolt, focused on four pilot newsrooms shortly before I left the company last year.

I wouldn’t describe any of those efforts as a complete success, and I know none of them was a complete failure. However much we succeeded, I learned a lot and blogged a lot about what we did.

Michele McLellan, one of the Scripps consultants on the project, knew of my transformation efforts and gave me an advance copy of the report, so I’m going to share some observations here.

During the Scripps project, a corporate restructuring resulted in a merger of the Scripps newspapers with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to create Journal Media Group. Since the Journal Sentinel wasn’t involved in the Four Platform Newsroom project, I will refer to the group here as Scripps. The company consulted with the Knight Digital Media Center at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Today’s Digital Leads report was produced and released by KDMC.

I have visited only one of the eight Scripps newsrooms where the transformation is considered to be working, and that was just briefly years ago. So my knowledge of the changes at Scripps is based solely on reading the report. As a result, I’m not going to praise or criticize specifics of what Scripps newsrooms have achieved or attempted. Instead, I’m going to summarize the 10 keys of the report, with some highlights from the report and advice for other newsrooms undertaking their own transformations: (more…)

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This continues a series on advice for new top editors in Digital First Media newsrooms.

A Digital First editor leads a lot of change in a newsroom. So you need to be sure that your staff receives the training to execute the changes you are leading.

I help with this in my visits to the newsrooms of new editors for Digital First Media, but the need for training continues and the editor should make training part of the newsroom’s culture and routines:

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I don’t have time to write a thorough analysis of the new Twitter for Newsrooms guide that Twitter published yesterday for journalists, but I’ll share some initial observations.

The guide is helpful. It promotes Twitter’s Advanced Search, and it always surprises me how many journalists don’t know how to search to find tweets about the topics they are reporting on. The guide encourages journalists to use Topsy for archival search, which I had forgotten about (Twitter Search doesn’t go back more than about a week). The guide is worth a look, especially if you aren’t using Twitter much, and probably has a few helpful tips if you’re experienced with Twitter.

But frankly, I was disappointed with Twitter’s guide. It strikes me as more promotional than helpful (when being more helpful would actually be better promotion, especially with as tough a crowd as journalists). The guide promises “more to come,” which is good, because it’s light on tips for crowdsourcing, covering breaking news, verification and discussion of ethical issues. This should become a place for sharing case studies of how journalists use Twitter. (more…)

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