The headlines about the newsroom reorganization of Journal Register’s New Haven Register, including from Journal Register itself and from Jim Brady, editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, focus on the investigative and depth reporting beats. Those are certainly noteworthy, given recent debate (which I touched on here) in journalism circles about whether the emphasis on the Web is inherently a drive that dumbs down the news, and I recommend reading Brady’s post on the issue explaining that “it shows that you can address the needs of traditional journalism while still reorienting your newsroom toward the future.”
But I’m equally interested in the newsroom organization chart because it helps paint a clearer picture for people who have trouble envisioning just how a digital-first newsroom might be organized. Sometimes that can be the biggest barrier, what makes the idea cross from the land of buzzwords and hype to a plan of action. Inherent in any reorg like this is the idea that you have to reassess everything you traditionally do; if you feel you must preserve everything, then doing anything different is not just different, it’s “in addition to” and will never get done without additional staff.