News Leadership 3.0

July 18, 2008

Change. More. Faster.

@ Leadership conference
Spokane editor recognizes
need for ever bolder strokes

Steve Smith, editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, has posted on his blog some thoughts about industry change and changes to come in his own newsroom following this conference. Says Smith:

“If we don’t change more dramatically and faster, there will not be an industry to support the sort of value-driven journalism that is at the heart of our craft.

“The encouraging news is that the tools we need to make the needed changes are readily available to us and that our ability to deliver quality news and information can only be enhanced…if we make the bold leaps.

“And there is the rub. Are we willing to make the bold moves.

“In the SR newsroom, we MUST understand and then embrace the notion that print is no longer our primary focus. As advanced as we are in the digital delivery of news (and this conference confirms for me that we are ahead of the industry curve, as innovative and progressive as any newsroom ), we are still too print focused.

“We need to devote FEWER resources to print. Our editors need to spend far less time worrying about print. And all of us need to be focusing on how to improve and expand the scope and quality of our digital news and information (and that includes radio).

“This is a huge cultural leap. The push back will be extreme. Work schedules will have to change. Skills will have to be refined or re-taught or learned for the first time. Many of us will have to fundamentally question what we do, why we do it and how it must be done differently.

“The editors who push this cultural change forward will not earn many friends in the newsroom. I think that understanding has been sobering for all of us.

“My hope is that our journalists will understand that we must change our practices, while holding true to our news values.

“That will be our only chance and only hope.”

Thursday, each of the newsroom teams at the conference explored key change initiatives for their newsroom. I will be posting some of their ideas over the next several days.

 

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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