Tag Archives: newsrooms

Thoughts from a shrunken newsroom on transitions

I am by nature a positive person.

So today, I am working to find a good spin on the fact that our newsroom is nearly 24 per cent smaller than it was yesterday.

Yesterday we saw section editors, copy editors, photographers and writers leave our newsroom – all of them excellent journalists – as part of a buyout program.

It’s no understatement to say the news business is in a period of transition, and change is never easy. This, too, is as cliched as it is true.

Our newsroom’s changes got me thinking about triathlons.

I recently started competing in triathlons again  (No, not Iron Mans, and I’m no Simon Whitfield), and while the race is grueling, most competitors will agree that it is the transitions between sports that are the toughest test.

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‘Don’t Tweet anything’

It kills me that I still hear assignment editors sending out reporters to the scene of a news scene, and instructing them NOT to Tweet.

About a decade ago, I remember convincing news editors that it was possible to scoop the competition online.

“A scoop is a scoop,” I’d say, and it was more than chiming off a lovely rhyme. Beating them to the story online is just the same as beating them in print.

It took a while, but it’s hard to find folks who would disagree with this now. So why doesn’t Twitter earn the same respect?

Today, our crime reporter got a tip about a possible homicide. A body was found by a bike path, and although emergency services hadn’t yet arrived, police were calling it a suspicious death.

“Go,” said our City Editor. “And don’t Tweet anything!” he shouted after her, as she ran off to get on the road.

Continue reading ‘Don’t Tweet anything’