John Burke, writing on the Editors Weblog site about the European Business Press seminar earlier this week in Paris, talks about the trends affecting the industry across the pond.
Of particular interest to U.S. business sections and newspapers is the move by the Financial Times to combine its online and print newsrooms into one operation.
Burke wrote, “Having lost a lot of money in its original attempts to ‘integrate’ its newsroom, The Financial Timesâ€™ Managing Editor, Dan Bogler, said that the paperâ€™s New Newsroom was working out well. Last July, the paper officially launched fully integrated staff and systems, fitting ft.com reporters into the print functions and vice versa. The team implemented ‘storybuilding,’ meaning that in the morning, a few paragraphs of breaking news are posted to the paperâ€™s website and followed up on throughout the day, eventually resulting in a complete, analytical piece for the following dayâ€™s print version. Heads of sections are now responsible for both print and online content and many journalists have embraced blogs. As for multimedia production, the FT has mostly kept a team apart figuring that writers needed time to write and video journalists should specialize in doing video interviews.
“The integration wasnâ€™t all peaches and cream: 50 voluntary redundancies were offered at the start of the project and journalists were almost forced to work three early morning shifts per month. But Bogler said that the paper cut too deep and has since rehired 5 or 6 of the eliminated positions. He also mentioned that the paper has eased off on its early morning demands and that certain journalists have actually volunteered to come in early more often than not, creating an early morning team and providing continuity in the dayâ€™s first content.”
Read more here. And just a thought: Why can’t the Society of American Business Editors and Writers hold conferences in places like Paris? I’m referring, obviously, to Paris, Texas.