Anthony Moor

Exploring Media in Transformation | Transforming in Media Exploration

/ˌtrænsfərˈmeɪʃən/ n. 1: a process of change from one form to another.

Separating content from production

There are others besides Gannett experimenting with separating content generation from production.

Why do that? Because it's hard to get a newsroom to innovate on a new platform when their compensation, salaries and schedules are tied to a legacy one. Here’s a great article from the editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette which is embarking down this path.

Key points:

  • Gazette Communications is unhitching content generation from product management. The editor says, “I lead a start-up organization, which we are calling Content Creation & Collaboration. We will have about 30 entrepreneurial journalists whose sole job is creating content, some in topical areas, some providing enterprise or covering breaking news. Other staff members will lead the group or provide training and support.
  • “We will publish unedited content digitally in a multitude of forms: stories, yes, but also bulletins, updates, tweets, liveblogs, photographs, videos, multimedia, graphics, source documents, databases, links and whatever other form is appropriate.
  • “We will sell our content to The Gazette and other products our company owns and they will edit the content to meet the needs of the packaged products. In a throwback to the days of 'Sweetheart, get me rewrite,' a product editor will cut, paste and edit a story for the morning Gazette from the liveblog.
  • We also will sell content to external customers such as other media outlets and will seek ways to sell enhanced content (such as photo reprints or customized products) directly to the public.”

So the workflow changes. The content creators publish digitally, and offline product owners edit for their own publications.