Posts Tagged ‘digital first’
Most of our newsrooms, if we’re honest, are print organizations with the digital initiative “bolted on.” Or so admitted Digital First Media CEO John Paton. I can’t decide whether I’m jealous of or pity the man, Steve Buttry, who has been tasked with unbolting four test newsrooms as DFM’s digital transformation editor.
He obviously knew what he was getting into. More than just refocusing attention to mobile reporting, engaging with audiences over social media or creating new ways to play with and use data, Project Unbolt is about actually changing how newsrooms think and act. Buttry elaborated on his blog this week about what it will actually entail and look like to ‘wrench’ newsrooms away from thinking for print. Here are some highlights:
- Everything is live, all the time. He writes:
Virtually all event coverage and breaking news coverage are handled as live coverage, with ScribbleLive, livetweeting, livestreaming, etc. This includes sports events, government meetings, trials, community festivals, etc….Live coverage is routine for the unbolted newsroom. Reporters and/or visual journalists covering events plan for live coverage unless they have a good reason not to (a judge won’t allow phones or computers in a courtroom; a family would rather not have you livetweet a funeral; connectivity at a site is poor).
- In the unbolted newsroom, you post content when you have an audience. Digital content is fresh every morning, you aren’t planning for morning editions, and those ‘Sunday magazine’ style features go up during the week. Read more
In a strange twist of events, popular digital news publishing orgs are starting to put out print magazines as an attempt to earn a revenue and increase brand awareness.
No, it’s not an Onion-type hoax. It’s a true story. Capital New York, a leading political and media news blog, was bought by Politico this fall, and the magazine is the first of many steps to increase — well, I don’t really know what.
According to AdAge, it’s part of Capital’s expansion after being bought by Politico. When you think Washington D.C. news, you think Politico. And they want you to think of Capital when you think of New York. Politico itself announced that it would publish a glossy six times a year and popular music site Pitchfork publishes a quarterly Pitchfork Review, available by subscription or for around $20 per issue.
A quarterly for a music website makes sense in terms of brand and scaling their product. Sort of like McSweeney’s. But Capital will print monthly, with current editors overseeing the content. The first run will have, again according to AdAge:
… a run of about 8,000 copies, the company said, with plans to distribute about 6,000 copies in Manhattan and 2,000 in Albany. Copies will be delivered to the state capitol building in Albany, City Hall in Manhattan and key individuals in the industries Capital New York covers, according to Roy Schwartz, chief revenue officer at Capital New York and Politico.
The magazine will be free, Mr. Schwartz added, with subscriptions available upon request to those who “qualify” based on their job title, job responsibilities, or other criteria.
Doesn’t it just sound like a very labor intensive marketing campaign?
I guess that’s why “digital first” is how we refer to pubs and not digital only. But I’d to find out how effective rags like this can really be in terms of brand engagement and advertising revenue.
Can it be worth the trouble or is this about leftover, hopeful thinking, that a print version will ever make a difference? Tweet your thoughts @10,000Words or share in the comments.
A former colleague of mine, William Davis, understands what a “web first” workflow is, and has made it happen through software at his newspaper in Maine. The Bangor Daily News announced this week that it completed its full transition to open source blogging software, WordPress. And get this: The workflow integrates seamlessly with InDesign, meaning the paper now has one content management system for both its web and print operations. And if you’re auspicious enough, you can do it too — he’s open-sourced all the code!
The video embedded above is a screencast from Davis, which outlines the new editorial workflow.