A memo from Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli has revealed that the publication is reorganising, "in anticipation of the impending integration of our print and digital news operations." Brauchli emphasises that the changes reflect the Post's commitment to great reporting and journalism.
Part of the aim is to bring about a more multimedia frame of mind at the post, to "empower journalists and encourage them to work across departments and platforms", as well as simplifying current processes. Essentially, Brauchli writes that a "single editor ultimately ought to be able to oversee all versions of a story, whether it appears in print, online or on a BlackBerry or iPhone".
As well as detailing future staff changes, the memo explains how "coverage groups" for departments will be organised, with leading editors responsible for coverage of their areas across both the newspaper and the website. It also describes how the "Universal News Desk will ultimately combine what is now spread across departments and two separate newsrooms", and will handle the majority of editing tasks as well as decisions on story space allocation.
The planned staff and department changes outlined are as set to be implemented on May 1st, but as part of a longer ongoing plan - the Post is on track with plans to merge its print and digital newsrooms over the summer and early autumn. "As we integrate editing and production, print and digital, we will be able to deliver smarter, faster news online, while preserving the writing, depth and range of coverage that define the Post", the memo continues.
"We think these steps will help us to adapt more easily to the economic and technological challenges that face us, while preserving the best of our traditions and values," write the Post editors. The Post, unlike many of its rivals, has been traditionally unintegrated and hasn't adapted to the speed of the Net. These are more than likely the first in a string of changes to bring Washington Post workflow into the digital age.