Does anyone really know what a successful digital newsroom looks like? From editorial strategy to project management, skill-sharing and culture change, there’s a real art — and a lot of hard work — to building a foundation for a 24/7, integrated newsroom. Those who helped lead and manage the process in their organizations will share what they’ve learned along the way.
And that concludes the session. Thanks for joining us!
Question: How did BBC really get an integrated collaborative newsroom? “Ultimately it was sticks — and carrots,” Steve Herrmann says. They required people to collaborate. The people who weren’t willing or able to do that were sidelined.
“Often when people are complaining about technology, they’re complaining about their workflow. And it’s because technology is forcing them to do things that aren’t productive,” Anjali Mullany says.
Tom Mallory of U-T San Diego says one of the most important changes — often overlooked — is giving everyone access to see and consume analytic of traffic.
Mullany now showing some of Craig Silverman’s platform Spundge and its use as a reporting and CMS tool.
Mullany is talking about the power of the ScribbleLive liveblogging platform, being able to file from text, email, voicemail, mobile app or laptop computer. I’ve had experience using it at The Denver Post, and it’s unbelievably powerful. It also allows you to pull in comments and social media. Here’s an example from our live high school football Friday night chats/news wire: http://bit.ly/R8kouz
Anjali Mullany is social media editor at Fast Company, talking about going from distinct to converged CMS (they use Polypoly).
Some closing tweets on Steve Herrmann’s presentation from the BBC’s efforts:
So many in #NewsroomDesign panel taking pix of diagram of layou of new BBC newsrm. Clearly an appetite for revamped, integrated spaces.
— Sasha Koren (@SashaK) September 22, 2012
— Lauren Johnston (@NYDN_Lauren) September 22, 2012
— Katy(@KatyTorg) September 22, 2012
— Craig Saila (@saila) September 22, 2012
— Craig Saila (@saila) September 22, 2012
Steve Herrmann of BBC says multiplatform is working. The people running the show (the editors) MUST have a multiplatform view, or they’ll plan stuff that’s dysfunctional. Production teams are the ones with specific platform focus. Stores, though, are done with multiplatform capability in newsgathering and specialist reporting.
All of the global and UK journalists are in the same space. BBC came up with a floor plan with hubs and spokes. UK and World are right in the center and radiating from that are the various outputs: World Online, World Service News, UK Online, BBC News Channel, etc.
— Suzanne Yada Chatter (@SuzanneYadaChat) September 22, 2012
The 2008 Multimedia Newsroom:
Leadership: Restructure of ‘News Interactive’ — merging TV News & Radio News
New meeting regime
Used to have many news meetings. Now, one big meeting in the morning with TV and radio. They stopped keeping stuff secret from colleagues.
Sharing of information
Swaps and skills-building
Top editors would take turn running the newsrooms. It encourage sharing of information.
Now, they’re moving again.
Now Steve Hermann, the editor of BBC News Online, is presenting. BBC News had a new building it moved into — so it could decide how to make a “multimedia” newsroom in 2008.
Oh, and one final thought from before:
— Steve Buttry (@stevebuttry) September 22, 2012
Sama says we should be demanding of technology. “Don’t allow technology to dictate what you want to do for your audience.” This is often the case with inflexible legacy content management systems, of course.
He recommends building a flexibility into technology. “Assume that change is going to happen, and plan for scale.”
IDENTITY — The way we perceive ourselves as professionals plays a huge role in what we do, how we do it, and how we organize how we collaborate and how we execute journalism projects, Gabriel Sama says.
As journalists, our publications need to be necessary to someone, and we need to find a balance between what an audience wants and needs, plus what it doesn’t know, Sama says.
Sama also notes that there’s no formula, but you should design with your audience in mind. What will your audience ultimately want?
Who do we want to reach?
How do we want to reach them?
What do we want to do?
Where do we want to publish it?
When do we want publish?
How can we do it?
What do we need to do it?
The fully integrated newsroom does not exist, says Sama, because it means different things to different people. And that’s — surprise! — because the perfect Content Management System does not exist (I’ve certainly learned that).
OK, we’re getting started here on looking into designing digital newsrooms.
“Creating an integrated newsroom is not a goal in itself,” says Gabriel Sama.