Sunday, January 4, 2009

Despite cutbacks, 'Tennessean' widens watchdog role

Mark Silverman, editor and vice president/content and audience development for The Tennessean, writes:

Too many newspapers still view themselves as print operations with a Web site as an add-on, rather than as a single news operation geared to both print and digital communications. As a result, some stories never reach their full potential for a broad audience. We've taken some steps to remedy that during the past two years, but more progress is needed.

The old approach also created tension between the folks who plan coverage and report it and those who copy edit and display it. Each group traditionally has had different bosses and sometimes different agendas. Sometimes the point of coverage would get lost between the two sides of a traditional news operation.

Our two senior editors, Deborah Fisher and Knight Stivender, helped to develop our new approach. Now, almost everyone on staff will work for both print and online. The approach unites originating editors and their reporters with production editors and their staffers behind the same audience goals for each story, photo, video, graphic and page that we produce for print or online.


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