The Seattle Times has completed a major restructuring of its newsroom, aiming to shift the focus from the print cycle to the paper's digital content, as The Knight Digital Media Center reports. The paper joins other publications, like the Witchita Eagle, that have recently reorganised their newsroom to prioritise digital content.
At the heart of the move are three essential principles: Creation, Curation and Community. What does that actually mean for the newsroom in real terms?
The function of each member of staff at The Seattle Times is accounted for in these three stages of development. Creation refers to the journalists themselves, those who gather news, write news or document it in images or video. Curation is the process of presenting the news, designing the digital (or print) format in which selected news stories appear, a task that is handled by the production staff.
Community refers to the staff members involved in community engagement, particularly on digital platforms. Staff at The Times engage with those users who comment on the site and also coordinate the network of local bloggers supported by the paper. These blogs offer comment and analysis on a range of subjects; in fact for every section of the paper there is an accompanying blog section, in addition to content crated by the newsroom.
Perhaps the biggest indication of how this reshuffle puts digital first is the fact that Kathy Best, the managing editor who previously led The Seattle Times digital team, has been assigned the task of managing the paper's news gathering efforts; an acknowledgement that digital skills are imperative in this field.