Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The transormation begins...

Except for some paint, a new carpet and some new computers every decade or so, this newsroom has not changed much in at least twenty years, probably many more.
Back then two reporters shared each writing terminal, and the pagination machines (what the pages were laid out on) were as big as a filing cabinet and twice as heavy.

Now the reporters use a mix of terminals andPC's, as do our paginators. We're looking at different approaches for the future, likely something mobile such as a wireless laptop so they can work in and around our towns and post stories as soon as they write them.

But our beloved newsroom, like many, is overflowing with old computer equipment, piles of press releases, municipal documents and old newspapers. Besides not being a very comfortable place to work, it is also not very inviting to the public. If we're serious about turning our readers into partners in covering our communities, we need to create a space where they can meet with us and get some help putting their news on the web.

So we're gutting the newsroom - just the center part - and turning it into our "Community Media Lab." We'll add some conference tables, chairs, our video editing station and a computer or two. We're planning some classes on blogging, how to add audio and video to your blogs, monetizing them, and giving you a chance to come in an talk with our reporters about how we cover the news and how we can do so better.

We thought about putting this lab in other parts of the building, but decided that if we are serious about turning our news readers into news gatherers we had to bring them right in the center of our operation.


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