Links: Newsroom architecture

In the lead up to news:rewired – connected journalism, we are compiling a series of links posts on each session topic to offer some useful background reading for delegates before the event.

This post offers a collection of resources for session 1A, which will look at some of the new roles emerging within newsrooms and opportunities for integration and collaboration, from innovative ways to combine and connect departments to new ideas for collaboration between journalists and other digital roles, from developers to community managers.

Speakers on the panel will include Helje Solberg, executive editor, VG; Karl Schneider, head of editorial development, Reed Business Information, with more speakers to be announced.

With the kind of “digital first” strategies being championed by the likes of the Guardian in the UK, the Journal Register Company in the US and El Pais in Spain, new digital roles are emerging and gaining a foothold within mainstream newsrooms. As they do, the way news organisations structure and direct those newsrooms is becoming increasingly important.

Beginning with the basics, Kevin Anderson looking at the issues surrounding online and print integration: “Newsroom integration: the past taking over the future?

Newsrooms are also taking social media and audience participation seriously, with increasing numbers of user-generated content teams and community co-ordinators being installed across the industry. Last week, the BBC’s Kevin Bakhurst looked at how social media has become an essential part of the work taking place in the corporation’s newsrooms: “How has social media changed the way newsrooms work?

Community managers are no longer an experiment for a handful of progressive news organisations, they are taking up residency across the industry and can be expected to stick around. Last year, freelance journalist Rosie Niven looked at the role of the community manager as part of a series on new roles in journalism. More recently, Guardian community co-ordinator Laura Oliver spoke at London’s Hacks/Hackers meet up about her role within the newsroom.

Developers and data experts are playing an increasingly important role within many modern newsrooms, and some of the smartest organisations are getting them to work side by side with journalists. A very interesting piece from Poynter earlier this year looked at structuring newsrooms to ensure developers and journalists can work closely together:

Traditional news outlets have some tough decisions ahead if they believe programming is part of journalism’s future. They need to decide where to place the people who do this kind of work, whether it’s in IT, the department that manages the website (which may be separate from IT), or in the newsroom.

Also from Poynter, some handy tips on strengthening the communication between the two roles.

Some things to think about:

  • What new digital roles have evolved in the newsroom, and how can journalists be working more closely with them?
  • Could larger newsrooms benefit from staff dedicated to fostering connections and maintaining collaboration between new digital roles and more traditional newsroom roles?
  • How do you begin to integrate print and digital newsrooms, and when shouldn’t you? What lessons have been learnt from previous integrations in the industry?
  • How should the operations of the newsroom be altered or restructured to suit a digital-first strategy?
  • Are there specific areas of journalism or newsroom projects which benefit more from an integrated team or collaboration?

Buy tickets for news:rewired – connected journalism at this link.

Image by antony_mayfield on Flickr. Some rights reserved

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