2008: All For Online
Newsrooms looking to reinvent themselves in the digital era must ensure they include everyone in the process, according to a new media expert.
Writing in his Editor & Publisher column, Steve Outing asserts the major lesson for newspapers to take forward into 2008 is that cultural change requires participation from everyone if it is to be successful.
“The smart news organisation in 2008 will be the one that encourages innovation - no, requires it - from ALL its employees,” notes Outing.
Outing reached this conclusion after conducting a “magic wand experiment” where he gathered feedback from colleagues within the industry, asking them how their company could improve in an ideal world.
A recurrent theme in the responses was the need for a cultural shift within the newsroom as varying attitudes seemed to be slowing progress in adapting to the digital environment.
Therefore, Outing’s advice is to include everyone in changing to meet digital challenges - this can include encouraging all newsroom staff to write their own blogs and use applications such as Twitter and Facebook.
He writes: “By actually living the digital life and embracing it (even if you’re forced to by your boss), you’ll better understand how the modern consumer interacts with media and news.”
Outing also recommends bringing in outside help to lead workshops and brainstorming sessions about how to make news websites more innovative.
He concludes: “If my little ‘magic wand’ experiment showed anything to me, it’s primarily that the minority of ‘forward thinkers’ in many newsrooms are pushing the reinvention process forward.
“It’s time to get everyone involved, and everyone on board.”