This week, student journalists at the Daily Eastern News at Eastern Illinois University will begin an experiment to reconfigure the newsroom to better deal with the online future of news.
It’s something I’ve talked about a lot here: getting the copy desk and editors to put stories online, freeing up the online staff to focus on web-only content. Getting print reporters to gather links and prepare their stories with the online component in mind. But the timing for a transition in the newsroom hasn’t been right, until this year.
The online staff, senior editors, and I will lead the entire staff through training in writing blogs, posting items to the dennews.com site, and thinking more about how to add depth to stories through multimedia.
Training sessions begin tomorrow and continue Thursday. We’ll see how things go in the coming weeks and months, but it’s an exciting transition.
I know several student papers have already made this transition. We tried to do this when I first arrived, but the staff wasn’t quite ready. There’s a saying about leading a horse to water that applies here. But the future won’t wait forever, and hopefully this is the time.
We’re still pushing along with College Publisher 4 for the time being, so it’s going to be a little bit more involved than I’d hope.
I’ll update as the semester goes along.
Now if I could only convince them to get rid of the “Daily” in the masthead.