Teaching Examples


Reorganization in Atlanta
February 16, 2007, 1:44 pm
Filed under: future, journalism, newspapers, online

Will Sullivan at Journerdism has posted a bunch of links related to the big Web-centric reorganization at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The AJC had talked publicly about this move before, but now it has a formal plan, which includes 80 voluntary buyouts.

The AJC’s article describes a plan to reduce the circulation area. This is a strategy I have not heard about from other newspapers, but I think it might be a smart idea. The metro dailies have stretched themselves so thin, they reduce the effectiveness of their reporters by trying to get stories from the far-flung reaches of an artificially extended area.

Update (Feb. 17): Via an e-mail tip I have learned that The Dallas Morning News also reduced its circulation area late last year. Story here (Dec. 5, 2006).

The AJC’s newsroom also will see many changes in the months ahead. The paper currently employs about 475 people full time in editorial operations. About 80 of those staffers — those who are at least 55 years old and have a minimum of 10 years of service — have been offered voluntary buyout packages. The newsroom buyouts are the first in the paper’s history.

The business story was short on details about the online aspects of the reorganization, but a memo from the editor provided more information.

The News and Information department will be responsible for news of all kinds — metro, business, features and sports. Its mission and mantra is daily watchdog and aggressive newsgathering. If something is happening in metro Atlanta, we want to tell our readers first and best. This department will think online first but will also provide print with a heavy dose of news. Beat reporters, general assignment reporters, full-time columnists and go teams will work in this department. The goal is a fast-paced, fun department, learning and growing digital knowledge, while still serving print in smart ways. This department will also work on developing and organizing all of the information we have about metro Atlanta.

The previous newsroom bureaucracy of more than a dozen departments will be reorganized into four new departments, of which the News and Information department is one. The other three: Enterprise, Digital, Print. I’m a little confused by the breakdown, but it’s all in the memo.

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