Legacy newspaper enterprises have a significant number of already employed folks who must learn specific new skills, behaviors, attitudes and working relationships.
Shaping the right staff roles and skills for your newsroomSubscribe to Updates Legacy news organizations cannot survive or thrive without the blend of staff roles and skills required to do the work needed to serve audiences in today’s digitally mediated reality. Building the needed staff roles and capabilities demands that you (1) define the specific roles, jobs, skills, behaviors, etc., that are needed to succeed; (2) assess the baseline for where you are now versus what you need; and (3) close these gaps by holding people accountable; (4) focusing on performance; and (5) monitoring and adjusting role and skill requirements as the news game evolves.
Big Picture A primer on shaping the right staff roles and skills for your newsroom
This section focuses on how you must hold already employed staffers accountable for specific results that arise from learning, practicing and excelling at required skills, behaviors, attitudes and working relationships.
Plan Strategic decisions when shaping staff roles and skills
Do Steps to take now to improve skills and capabilities in your newsroom
The New York Times has created training materials to help its journalists work better with data. You can use them in your newsroom too.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As part of a newsroom reorganization, The Philadelphia Inquirer built an audience development team to support its transition to a digital subscription business. It’s a team anchored by versatility and diversification. We wanted to create a data-informed newsroom (not data-led, as solid news judgment is just as important as ever) to achieve responsible reach and loyalty at scale for its journalism.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Bay Area News Group had moved to a digital first publishing platform but quickly realized some writers and editors were finding an audience for their content better than others. They realized they needed to get everyone on the same page — with a suite of digital content guides.
How to encourage experimentation in your newsroom
A crowdsourced list of the most important skills journalists can teach themselves
Hold already employed folks accountable for results; identify, attract, hire and onboard new folks – then hold them accountable for results; and partner and/or use independent contractors – and hold them accountable for results.
Performance is the primary objective of change, not change. Instead of asking folks to commit to attending headline or tweeting training, get them to commit to specific performance results that depend on excellent headline writing or tweeting.
The game of 21st century news and information is dynamic. Senior leaders must regularly step back to evaluate the shifts happening.