Teaching Examples

Washington Post will not go gently
November 17, 2006, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sounds great to me:

We are re-directing newsroom staff and resources to our highest priority journalism in print and on the Web. In form, our priorities include original reporting, scoops, analysis, investigations and criticism. In content, they include politics, government accountability, economic policy and what our readers need to know about the world — plus local government, schools, transportation, public safety, development, immigrant communities, health care, sports, arts and entertainment.

That’s Len Downie, executive editor of The Washington Post. E&P has the memo.

Many journalists may wring their hands and fret about this. But it’s smart. A strategic — not merely reactionary — reorganization of resources would surely help most newspapers. Much of that reorganization absolutely must be targeted at the media people are actually using today — NOT the printed newspaper.

Look at this — it’s brilliant, and desperately overdue:

We will make more progress in presenting our coverage more effectively in news sections. We will take a new approach to story length, which remains an important challenge, despite the progress already made in some parts of the paper. We will soon publish story length guidelines for the staff, along with ways to adhere to them. Our goal is for the newspaper to be filled with stories of different sizes and forms — and to provide both reporters and editors the tools to better edit for length. Our philosophy will be that every story must earn its length, so readers will want to read and finish more stories.

That made me want to jump out of my chair and applaud. Len is no dummy. Far from it.

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1 Comment so far
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I wonder if they really know the scale of the challenge. Driven by economics most papers will have to make mass redundancies, on top of all those they’ve already made. I’ve put something together over on wripe.net that ilustrates what’s possible with one person these days.

i don’t want to say it’s a model but when I’ve spoken to people from places like the Wall St Jnl their reaction is – yes with all these bureaus we can still be outdone online by one person.

Comment by haydn

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