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Gannett's new Info Center

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jackson Sundown, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. To all the other storm troopers out there, what changes, if any, are you expecting with Gannett's new "Information Center?" Are they shaking up your newsrooms and leaving sports alone, or is "management restructuring" in your department as well?
    I'm at a bureau so we're not expecting much change, but it sounds like we might actually try some new things up at headquarters. I'm curious what others are hearing.
  2. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

  3. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    For those who aren't in the know, here's a little more information about Gannett's Information Centers -- what the company is now calling its newsrooms.

  4. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    These people are idiots. A few things I noticed:

    Gannett is shifting focus to the Web, and content there is more local, more frequent and more important.

    Are you kidding? Why would you put LOCAL news, which, say, AP or Reuters won't cover, on the web when the newspaper is usually the only place to get LCOAL NEWS, unless it goes national (i.e. massive train wreck, terrorism plot, etc.) As for council, car accidents, local sports scores etc. That should all still be in the paper.

    Now the copy desk won’t close when the last print edition goes out the door, but will be staffed around the clock, ready to update changing stories or report in real time on 3 a.m. crimes and overnight storms. Forget the 9-5 newspaper job, as reporters may be expected to file stories when they happen, where they happen.

    So, they will pay someboy(s) wages through the night on the off chance something might happen? Won't this cost them more money than they will make? One reporter, one editor minimum each shift.

    They don’t have an office at the newspaper, but more frequently write in their cars.

    This is an accident, lawsuit, long-term or short-term disability, inadequate work place issue waiting to happen - to name a few. The labour boards et al are going to think it's ok to make a person work from their fucking car?!

    Now they’re expected to report immediately, then update frequently. Some of this is already in place. If you sign up for it, The C-J will send an e-mail at the end of each quarter of U of L football games.

    This actually works and makes sense in sports. I just did this a month ago for a football game I was covering. I uploaded quarterly reports outlining the scoring plays. But in my last one, I listed those players I was going to interview. And then, get this, I reminded people to BUY THE FUCKING PAPER THE NEXT DAY to read reaction from coaches and players.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    If I read correctly elsewhere, and I could be wrong, what they're doing in Florida with this MoJo experiment indicated they will be focusing on more community news that may not meet current standards for news, with an eventual shift toward more community "reporters."

    Also, the information would be posted quickly and with minimal input from supervisors at the "info center," I guess similar to a blog.

    The postman runs over a dog ... instead of a reporter sending it in, Floyd or Suzie whips up something on the laptop in the den and posts it.

    Minimal reporters and more information from Joe and Jolene on 123 ScrewNewspapers Street.

    That should go over well. Cut jobs, don't worry about paying Joe or Jolene and put out "news" about a tree falling, the price of school lunches going up a nickel or the Podunk Hawks U-8 soccer club.
  6. floridasun

    floridasun Member

    Seriously, where's a union when you need one? You know it means more hours than usual (which is more hours than most jobs) and newspapers are notorious for working people countless hours and paying them for 40. If I was working on the desk, say a 3-midnight shift and all of a sudden someone tells me I'm working 7 p.m.-3 a.m., I'm likely done.

    It's adventurous plan, but my guess is the "people" doing the work will be treated with less respect and concern than there were before.

    Here's an idea. Scrap the paper altogether and just make it online/TV. Then, go out and hire additional people to do the job properly. Newspapers continue to make the same mistakes -- ask people to do more, but pay them the same (or less) and then kill jobs. Any business that advertises on a paper's web site is foolish. When's the last time you clicked on an online ad?

    I'm done ranting ...
  7. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    Why would you put national news on the web when there are 1,000 other places to get this information? When there's a big weather emergency or "breaking" news (I hate that damn term), web traffic spikes incredibly. And guess what, there's also TV and radio in markets, you know ...

    And sports is already big on the web ... getting stuff up quickly only helps. Sorry SoSueMe, welcome to the future present.
  8. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I think you misread my post, or I misread yous. National news SHOULD be free on the newspaper's website, it's everywhere already. But local stuff isn't, so why in God's name (or in the name of the superior being(s) whose oversees earth would put local stuff on the net? STOP GIVING THE PRODUCT AWAY. You can't get local stuff anywhere other than your local paper.

    Sports, I'm with you and Gannett on this one: Quarterly or scoring updates as they happen, key plays, stats, etc. But NOT the game story of Podunk High vs. Bumville Secondary. MAKE THE PEOPLE READ THE REACTIONS THE NEXT DAY!
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The papers must be able to or expect to be able to make money advertising on the site. Why is AOL free now? If they didn't make money with advertisers they'd just fold their tents, since they don't charge anymore.
  10. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    1. what 'labour boards' are you talking about? if you don't want to work from your car they'll find a 22 year old j-school grad who will.

    2. i'm confused. does AP still send out running stories after each quarter of MNF games and every three innings of a world series game? that always seemed like such an outdated practice and i know they did it as recently as 4-5 years ago. i can see what sosueme does making sense - e-mailing people the highlights which is just what they'd get by clicking on espn.com or yahoo.com but who would be subscribing to this sort of thing? maybe people who want this news on their cell phone.
  11. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    People can criticize Gannett all they want. (I don't work for a Gannett paper, by the way) They can call the company cheap, crazy, and say it is over-reacting. Fine. All could be true.
    But at least Gannett has a plan. The industry is struggling, jobs are scarce, everyone is turning to the Web, and Gannett has a plan. The company has had a plan from the beginning, since it gave blogs as much play as they are getting now. It has always pushed reporters to get stuff online.
    Say what you want, but the "Info Center" is a way to maintain web traffic and keep people clicking on the paper's site. It will work, if you ask me.
    Whether the company uses the extra money generated to hire more staff, that is the only question I have. I hope it does, because that would be a solid signal for the industry.
  12. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Here's my question about newspaper websites: Who is visiting them?

    For examply, I still read every online edition of every paper I worked for. And, I still read my hometown paper, online.

    But what good is that for "advertising numbers?" It's not like I'd buy ANYTHING from ANY advertiser that's online at any of those sites. I live, minimum, 400 miles away from the closest one. So, if Pudunk's Furniture Store advertises online, it doesn't matter to me, I live in Bumville, six hours away.

    I want to know how many people like me, relocated citizens, log onto those sites. Because those numbers mean nothing, except to national advertisers.
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