Leading a 21st Century Newsroom

(Photo by Aaron Roberts)

What's the key to running an online newsroom that embraces features of Web 2.0? Friday's panel Leading a 21st Century Newsroom pointed to developing a relationship with the print side to create an understanding of how each medium is used differently.

Jim Brady, executive editor and vice president of, said initially no one in the print newsroom was interested in online. Now that the potential has been realized, newsrooms must learn how to train journalists in new technology.

Merging newsrooms required a move from the traditional newsroom structure, said Kinsey Wilson, executive editor of USA Today and In terms of organization, Wilson said, "As we rethink things from the ground up, we're going to have to push responsibility down as far as possible." Compared with a traditional newsroom, management is more direct for the online version. The goal of's redesign was to link to other news sources, provide concise coverage and integrate social media tools.

Eric Easter, chief of digital strategy for, explained that the magazine world runs a very different kind of newsroom. When deciding how a monthly publication can produce timely content online, the solution was to do an online version only. "Readers have a closeness with the product," Easter said. "What kind of feeling are people going to have moving to a different format?" Easter's approach is to take the spirit of the publication in a new direction.

Panelists expanded on the organizational dilemmas in the shift to online. "Different people in the newsroom have different needs," said Wilson. Funding training for staff in different areas and designing the Web site are necessary steps. "Everybody wants a Web site, but they're very gun shy about spending the money to get it down," Easter said.

-- Emily Hanlon

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8th Annual Conference and Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, Sheraton Centre, Toronto

Questions about membership, registration or sponsorship opportunities? E-mail Executive Director Lori Schwab.

Questions about conference lineup or volunteering? E-mail Conference Chair Ju-Don Roberts.

Oct. 19, 2007 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast Discussion Groups (Sponsored by AFP) 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: The Cutting Edge of Online Data 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Finding Your Voice Online 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Business Workshop: Leading the 21st Century Newsroom 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: General Session: Membership Meeting 10:45 a.m. - Education Members Meeting, Expanding ONA's educational offerings, Dominion Ballroom 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m: Keynote: Michael Oreskes, International Herald Tribune 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Lunch on Your Own (Box lunch sponosred by 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Broadcaster Strategies for the Web 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating Multimedia in Storytelling 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Business Workshop: Legal Panel 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Revamping Your Curriculum for Online Journalism 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating User-Generated Content 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Business Workshop: Advertising 2.0 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Coffee Break (Sponsored by Pluck) 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Journalism Next: Impact of Aggregators, Blogging and Social Networking on the Industry 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Reception sponsored by 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Awards banquet

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    The 2007 Online News Association Conference is the premier conference for those who work in, or have an interest in, online media and news.

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