In their book 21st Century Journalism, Laszlo Turi and Andras Nyiro identify four ways that newsrooms in Europe and the US have been organised. “Each editorial team must find its own ideal solution, considering their content, audience and market position,” they argue.
The main approaches they identify are:
Selected journalists are trained
Here, only the print and online operations are integrated and training is limited to a few journalists.
This is a more sophisticated application of multimedia and online interactivity. Other media, such as TV and radio, are added to the mix. Management frequently holds back any further large-scale applications of convergence.
Cross-media projects and advertising sales campaigns. Staff are cross-trained, and there is a true engagement by management and the lower ranks.
All journalists and ad sales staff are cross-trained. There is a multimedia strategy at every level of the company.
DIFFERING APPROACHES TO NEWSROOM CONVERGENCE AROUND THE WORLD
The Washington Post
The paper has no integrated newsroom, only a dedicated online editor and separate teams creating specialised web content.
The New York Times
Continuous newsdesk, with 14 full-time editor-reporters. When something big happens, a one-line alert is published immediately. They start with a wire story on the web and replace it with their own copy later. Web and print newsrooms are separate, but some of the web journalists sit in the newsroom.
Renowned digital journalist Rob Curley, who now works for washingtonpost.com, managed the converged newsroom at Lawrence Journal World. The company’s print, internet, and cable TV staff already shared a newsroom before Curley arrived and the newsroom became a textbook case, with other papers’ executives visiting to see how it worked.
Groups of journalists are organised into multimedia teams to cover sports, news and other subject areas. Each team has cross-trained journalists with capabilities to tell stories in video, audio and text.
Edipresse, which owns all three of Switzerland’s major French-language newspapers and is the country’s second largest media group, changed the internal organisation of its publications’ newsrooms, transforming them into a multimedia platform, where all journalists write for several media: print, web, television, radio, and mobile.
There is a single editing system and a single archive database for all titles that is accessible from all areas.
The same news is covered by the editor in different papers, depending on the time of the day and the media where it will be published.
There is not a separate multimedia service, as the integrated newsroom hosts those in charge of functions such as webmaster, content manager and desk manager.
Newsrooms are no longer organised by services but by the areas they cover, and are designed as multimedia open spaces. There is a central desk from where the day’s editor-in-chief, the head of photography and the internet chief manage the information flow.
The USA Today publisher has become a platformagnostic 24-hour news aggregator and distributor, which channels all bits of news to the appropriate platform, focusing on local coverage.
Gannett has renamed newsrooms “information centers”. Michael Maness from Gannett has said he is convinced that the future of newspaper journalism lies in a mix of professional content with amateur contributions.
Gannett journalists interact with readers of their articles through forums, and work closely with “mojos” or mobile journalists. They also solicit readers for information, a process known as “crowdsourcing”.
The number of major breaking news stories that have come from reader tip-offs has increased as a result.
The first multimedia brand developed by Publimedia in Romania, Apropo was launched as a web portal for young people. In 2004, Publimedia launced Apropo TV, a magazine that was later relaunched as a glossy bimonthly celebrity news title. There is also a weekly TV show and a morning radio show, Apropo FM.
This is the first multimedia company of its kind in the Czech market. Content is shared across the internet, radio stations, TV and magazines but is kept separate for the daily titles.
The Serbian radio station later launched on the web and TV. The most successful multimedia company in the regions, B92 focuses on local content.
The free programme guide in Hungary went on to launch a radio station and other branded enterprises including Pesti Est taxi service and Pesti Est Cafe.
Port.hu, its main competitor, has failed to expand into other media, but has established websites in other nearby countries, with offices in Prague and Bratislava.