Posted by Tim Weideman
Yahoo! News reported this morning that the New York Times announced a reorganization that would bring together its print and online newsrooms.
The report includes a letter from Times executive editor Bill Keller to staff about what changes will be made that will affect how the newsrooms operate together.
The biggest announcements were two position changes. Digital news editor Jim Roberts has been named assistant managing editor for news and Fiona Spruill, formerly Web newsroom editor, is now editor for emerging platforms.
First, the move from digital news editor to assistant managing editor makes it clear that the Times views its online edition as equal to its print. Putting the person responsible for a great online product in a position that affects the print edition shows that the Times is ready to more securely bridge the gap Web and hard copy.
Second, giving someone a title of “editor for emerging platforms” is exciting for anyone in the journalism business. The idea that new jobs are being created in journalism, or at least journalism is moving to new platforms, should make everyone eager to get involved.
Also, wherever the New York Times goes, other dailies follow in some way. The more newspapers that attempt to follow the Times and its expansion, the more new ideas and new jobs that will pop up.
What I would’ve given to be a little bit older and a little bit more experienced at that moment. A dream job was right there on the screen.
These new titles are good signs for the newspaper business because it means there may still be opportunities for growth in areas that haven’t been explored.
But here’s the question: Are newspapers trying to find ways to survive by crossing over to new platforms, or is this all just delaying an inevitable doom?
That’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s one we as journalism students should think about because we’ll be the ones making the decisions down the road.