Monthly Archives: July 2007

On newsroom cutbacks

Newsrooms throughout the industry have been shuddernig under staff reductions. Buyouts and layoffs are being used to cut costs in the face of falling advertising revenue. The Tennessean is said to be the site of some of the latest angst.
But does a smaller newsroom necessarily equate to worse journalism. A recent Jack Shafer piece for Slate says not necessarily so. For instance, were the Washington Post and New York Times doing worse journalism during the Watergate era than they are today? Yet in 1972, the staffs of those newspapers were about half the size they are today.
Of course, the issue is one of quantity as well as quality. Newspapers today have much heftier business, entertainment and features sections than they did 35 years ago. They also tend to be more attractively designed and richer in photos and graphics.
As newsrooms tighten their belts, deciding what to continue doing well and what to stop doing altogether become the crucial questions.

Blogs playing larger role at News Sentinel

Blogs are big in the newsroom these days. For the past year or so, staff members — especially writers — have been encouraged to add blogging to their repertoires. We consider blogs a great way for reporters to publish information quickly and develop a dialog with readers that can lead to new story tips and a deeper understanding of issues.
The Business department is the newsroom’s latest hotbed of blogs. Reporters Josh Flory, Carly Harrington and Andrew Eder all have launched blogs focused on their areas of expertise: commercial real estate, retail and technology. Those three blogs often feature several newsy postings a day.
Fred Brown, an institution in East Tennessee journalism, also has launched a blog focused on veterans and the military community.
Watch for more new blogs in coming months.

Reinventing the newsroom

We’ve been involved in discussions of how our newsroom might be reorganized to better execute the multimedia roles we’re now carrying out. It will be an ongoing process.
It’s interesting to observe other newspapers going through similar processes. This morning I was sent a link to this story about the Washington Post issuing “10 principles for journalism on the Web.”

They’ve designated editors on their Metro, National, Foreign, Financial, Style and Sports desks who now will focus on online journalism. We don’t have the luxury of designating editors from each department to specialize in Web news. But we will be giving all of our editors training on our new online content management system, and they will be taking responsibility for their sections on, as well as in the News Sentinel.