Leadership Report 2007

Leadership Conference Report

By Lauren Hertel, Lecturer, Department of Telecommunication, University of Florida

Your organization is committed to a digital future, but you don’t have time to slow down and take time to think about what that future should look like?  You’re not alone.  Time is a luxury when editors are too busy “feeding the beast” to figure out how to serve two masters, print and online, at once.

In January 2007, the Knight Digital Media Center at USC Annenberg School for Communication gave 20 top editors and online news leaders from 10 different metro newspapers across the country the ultimate luxury: Four days to get serious and figure out a plan. 

The editors convened in Los Angeles to hear from leading experts about online audiences, new newsroom technologies, newsroom training and organization, citizen journalism and enlightened leadership for a digital age.

The newspapers that participated came from diverse ownership models and included:

The Boston Globe (New York Times)
The Star-Ledger (Advance/Newhouse)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Cox)
The Denver Post (Media News Group)
The Oregonian (Advance/Newhouse)
The San Diego Union-Tribune (Copley)
The Miami Herald (McClatchy)
The Sacramento Bee (McClatchy)
Austin American-Statesman (Cox)
The Des Moines Register (Gannett)

The goal of the workshop was to give the editors both innovative and practical ideas for changing the culture and the operational focus of their newsrooms to embrace change in the new media landscape.  But the real focus was on finding creative new solutions. 

The editors worked closely with the assembled experts for an entire day of brainstorming.  They worked on a series of immediate tasks and longer term plans for their newsrooms.  They thought hard about barriers to success in their individual newsrooms, and struggled with industry-wide problems that have hindered their efforts.

The results of this concentrated hard work were astonishing, not least for the editors themselves, who all said they came away from the conference inspired to change their newsrooms and even organizations in new and strategic ways. 

And change they have. 

This report summarizes what was learned during the conference.  The KDMC followed up with the editors over the past few months to hear what was accomplished since the conference and will publish the findings soon.

In the meantime, we offer you the following “top 10 lists” as a distillation of the learning from those four days.  We hope the lists provide you with food for thought and spark discussions in your own newsrooms about change and the digital now.

We will convene another Leadership Conference in 2008. If you would like to be considered please contact Vikki Porter at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 213-821-0071.

Read the Report

10 Things That Resonated

10 Key Questions for Newsrooms

Top 10 Tools for Newsrooms

10 Things to Do Immediately

10 Quotes Worth Quoting

10 Key Takeaways

Leadership Report 2007


Lauren Hertel

imageLauren Hertel teaches multimedia journalism to broadcast students at the University of Florida. As an online editor in California, she developed a model four-month multimedia training program for the community news group of Dow Jones. Ms. Hertel holds graduate degrees in Journalism and City & Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and speaks on convergence and urban reporting nationally and internationally. Visit her bio at UofF.

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Leadership Report 2011

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Leadership Report 2009

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Leadership Report 2008

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Leadership Report 2007

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