Stand it on its head

Newspapers everywhere are trying to "transform," "explode," "re-org," "downsize," and generally rearrange the "deck chairs" on you know what.

Here's an idea of Melissa Worden:

Instead of having our main production efforts going to print production, and a small online team, why not have the main production efforts be for online, and employ a smaller set of editors to package the print product?

The idea of a small staff "re-purposing" online back to print may seem ridiculous to the print-product-rules crowd, but it makes sense and actually is where most newsrooms are tangentially headed as they move forward while watching the road in the rearview mirror.

Regardless of whether it is where newsrooms are moving, it's not the message that's being understood even in newsrooms where there's been a "web first" manifesto.

Focusing a newsroom around producing an online product first and reusing a cut of that in print would begin to put the newsroom where it will need to be -- soon. A lot of culture change could be accomplished and embedded in the process by rejiggering the work flow.

This would require standing most newsroom production systems on their heads -- and what would be bad about that?


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