By paulgillin | September 28, 2007 - 10:15 pm - Posted in Journalism, NewMedia, Newspapers

The American Journalism Review writes about the newsroom of the future and offers interesting insight into some of the experiments taking place at metro dailies around the U.S. (it’s ironic that this story about next-generation publishing contains not a single hyperlink, by the way).

What’s clear from this story is that several papers are taking the bull by the horns and attempting to reinvent themselves. They’re hacking away at distinctions between print and online staffs, stressing speed over analysis, streamlining editorial hierarchy and trying to think of themselves as multimedia publishers. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution actually went so far as to require half the editorial staff to apply for new positions. This can’t be easy for anyone.

One gets the sense from this article that a lot of ideas are being tried at the few papers that have stopped cursing the darkness and are instead trying to do something about their plight. No doubt a lot of these new avenues will become blind alleys, but at least they’re trying something.

Samuel Johnson has been quoted as saying, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” It is encouraging to see some major metros concentrating their minds on the future of news. They’re the ones that will be in the best position to survive the shakeout.

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