Looking for multimedia journalists to lead the way

The Richmond Times Dispatch is a paper with a long history – it’s been around in one form or another for more than 100 years.  But this newspaper, like so many other news organizations, is trying to re-invent itself in the digital age.  

Glenn Proctor is the executive editor of the paper.  He says these days, “Our philolosphy is Web first.”  You’ll hear that in a lot of newsrooms, and sometimes the person saying it actually means it!  But how do you change a newsroom culture that has always been geared to produce a printed publication or a nightly newscast?  Proctor recently laid out his plan of attack before a small group at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications.

He says his newsroom is now made up of 3 teams:  Information, Now and Creative.  The Now team is responsible for the Web, with a goal of having 10 new things posted to the Web by 7 a.m. every morning – that’s 10 new things that a print-only reader would not see in the morning newspaper. 

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TV still the main news source

Ratings may be dropping, but local television remains Americans’ number one source of news, according to a new survey sponsored by Hearst Argyle Television.   The preliminary results: 55% of respondents cited TV as their primary source of news information, ahead of the Web (26%) and print newspapers (14%).  The survey found that local TV wins online too–after search engines, local TV Web sites are the most frequently used sources of local news and weather.  And that’s not all:

Online video viewing of local TV news content is higher than that for any other genre — 37% for local news vs. 31% each for cable news and primetime programming, 24% for reality TV video and 23% for broadcast network news.

A survey sponsored by a company that owns local TV stations might be considered suspect, but these results are in line with other studies.  And the new research doesn’t sugar coat the problems local TV faces online.

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