editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Unexpected, but valuable, career advice

December 18th, 2007 · 1 Comment

I never would have considered a career in auto racing, but after reading Jack Lail’s post “What race cars and newspaper websites have in common,” I’m not as worried if I find myself seeking a second career.

Jack was commenting on my “Don’t let your website get lapped,” post and drew the connection between NASCAR and newspaper websites. He observed that the suggestions I made were the equivalent of “pitstop tinkering.” But he added something that I missed — speed. And Jack, I couldn’t agree with you more.

So thanks for the addition and for the career advice. I can think of some days when working with a pit crew would be a welcome alternative to the newspaper business.

→ 1 CommentTags: Best Practices · Industry · Innovation

Don’t let your website get lapped

December 18th, 2007 · 4 Comments

At too many newspaper websites, there is an all or nothing approach to innovation and change. I am frequently told “we’re going through a redesign” or “we’re getting a new CMS” as just some of the justifications for current site problems or sub-par functionality. But is that really the best approach?

Many newsrooms leaders are familiar with the term “incremental improvements.” It is frequently used as part of company-wide Continuous Improvement programs, but is just as applicable in team building and reporter coaching. Incremental improvements are the buildings blocks of change necessary to achieve something great. It is a realistic approach to change and just as importantly, it describes a process.

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Best Practices · Industry · Innovation · Online

Why the “A” section leaves me feeling empty

December 17th, 2007 · 4 Comments

Like many people, I read my local newspapers for the local news. Between the Internet and the 24-hour news networks, I think many of us like to give the limited amount of time that we have to read the newspaper to local stories.

Now if you’re a newspaper editor or publisher, none of that is likely surprising or especially revelatory. But despite knowing this, newspapers, including my local papers, still fill their front sections (typically referred to as the “A” section) with national and international news reported by wires services. I guess their hoping that while you’re looking for the rest of the local stories from the front page, that you’ll stop and read some likely outdated and previously reported national or international news.

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Advertising · Best Practices · Industry · Local Newspapers · Online

Journalism bloggers, remember who has the power

December 16th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Recently Howard Owens, Jeff Jarvis, Pat Thornton, and many, many other journalism/media bloggers have crafted posts about what newspaper journalists are or are not doing, about what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and about what they should be doing that they’re not.

Owens, Jarvis, Thornton, heck all of these gifted bloggers/industry leaders have valid points and if I was a newsroom journalist who fit into one of their ‘in need of improvement’ like descriptions, I would probably be feeling pretty crappy about my alleged craft. And it’s that impact, whether intended or not, that I have a problem with.

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→ 1 CommentTags: Blogging · Industry · Innovation · Training