Poynter Online Poynter Online
New UserLogin
Poynter Online Main Page
Design / Graphics
Writing / Editing
TV / Radio
About Poynter
Resource Center
The Poynter Store

Help Poynter

Create Your Personal Page
Add Your Bio
Add Your Photo
Share Your Favorite Links

Signup for Poynter Newsletters
Get Poynter Delivered to Your PDA

ASNE Online Ethics Tool

View Forum Post

Topic: Memos Sent to Romenesko
Date/Time: 8/2/2005 12:09:38 PM
Title: NYT newsroom integration memo
Posted By: Jim Romenesko
From: Bill Keller
To: [New York Times newsroom]
Subject: A Message from Bill Keller and Martin Nisenholtz

To the Staff,

Over the past ten years the newsroom of Nytimes.com and the newsroom on 43rd Street have been partners at a distance -- separated administratively, culturally, geographically and financially. We have built bridges -- most notably the Continuous News Desk -- and we have admired each other's work, but we have not been full collaborators. This was probably a healthy arrangement in the formative years, because it allowed our digital operation to flourish, to experiment, to move at its own quick rhythm and focus on the competitive new digital world. The result is, unassailably, the best and most widely read newspaper website in the world, one that consistently wins every award in the field and that continues to attract new readers in droves.

But in those ten years, the world has changed. The digital news operation is now grown up and strong, ready to enlarge its ambitions. The reporting and editing staff at the original newsroom is much more at ease with the Web, more eager to embrace it both as an opportunity for invention and an alternative way to reach our demanding audience. We have a burgeoning video unit that is eager to be a larger presence on the website, at a time when most users of Nytimes.com have graduated to the kind of high-speed delivery that makes video appealing. And all of us appreciate that one of the biggest long-term challenges facing our craft is to invent a digital journalism and new services for our readers that both live up to our high standards and help carry the cost of a great news-gathering organization.

We have concluded that our best chance of meeting that challenge is to
integrate the two newsrooms into one. This will enable us to fully tap the
creative energy of this organization and thus raise digital journalism to
the next level. In the coming weeks, we will be working with editors and
staff in both places to work out details and accomplish a smooth transition.

As you know from an earlier announcement, Jon Landman will oversee this large project for Bill and Jill. He'll have help; more soon about the team that will work with him on this assignment.

The change embodied in this integration will be gradual but important. For quite a few years now, we've sworn allegiance to the modern-sounding doctrine of "platform neutrality" -- meaning we care only about our journalism, not about whether we transmit it to our audience on paper or via streams of electrons. But in practice most of us have been writing and editing newspaper articles, or taking pictures or making charts and graphs for the newspaper, while a few of us have been taking this work and adapting it for the Web.

By integrating the newsrooms we plan to diminish and eventually eliminate the difference between newspaper journalists and Web journalists -- to reorganize our structures and our minds to make Web journalism, in forms that are both familiar and yet-to-be-invented, as natural to us as writing and editing, and to do all of this without losing the essential qualities that make us The Times. Our readers are moving, and so are we.

Until we move into the new building, we cannot physically merge the
newsrooms, but we are looking at ways to promote much more side-by-side cooperation in conceiving and executing journalism. Web producers should routinely participate in the daily conversations where coverage is
launched. Senior editors of the Web should be a presence at all of the
meetings where the masthead, department heads, feature editors, enterprise editors and others hatch plans. In the newsroom at 43rd Street, everyone should come to regard the website as his or her responsibility. That means Jill will be managing editor for news -- not just in the newspaper, but on the website. Susan Chira will be the editor of our foreign report whether it appears in print or on Nytimes.com. And so on. This will take some getting used to, and a large part of Jon's responsibility will be to help us absorb these new responsibilities and make the most of them.

An undertaking on this scale is full of complications, but we are convinced that the time is right for this, and that it cannot be a halfway venture. Judging from the excitement that has arisen in both newsrooms as the magnitude of this sinks in, we know a lot of you already share our

Bill Keller
Martin Nisenholtz

View Complete Forum Topic

Search Poynter Online
Search Poynter Online
Search 221 Journalism Sites
Search 221 Journalism Sites
Search Poynter Online

Hurricanes: The Ultimate Environmental Disaster
Hurricanes: The Ultimate Environmental Disaster
New On Poynter
The Mississippi Press
Page One Today

Convention Scramble
Al's Wednesday Meeting

What's Our Message?
By Aly Colón

News Org Updates
Covering Katrina

Free Lexis-Nexis
Covering Katrina

Lost/Found Journalists
Covering Katrina

Baton Rouge Housing
Needed by Harper's Guy

Your Tips & Stories
Send them to Poynter

Alabama Housing
Katrina Help Offered

Get Help, Give Help
Covering Katrina

Evacuated Teen Journo
Katrina Help Needed

First Person Plus
Covering Katrina

The American Leviathan
Covering Katrina

Rehnquist Resources
By Al Tompkins

Anchoring @ a Distance
Covering Katrina

From the Astrodome
Covering Katrina

Images of Disaster
Covering Katrina

Clocking the Crisis
Covering Katrina

One Image, One Word
By Anne Van Wagener

Ownership Responds
Covering Katrina

Ethical Questions
Covering Katrina

From the Superdome
Covering Katrina

As Bad As it Can Be
Covering Katrina

Culture Beyond Crisis
Covering Katrina

Mapping Katrina
By Meg Martin

Media Converge on LSU
Covering Katrina

Covering Katrina
Poynter Resources

The Gathering Place
Craigslist and/or MSM?

High-Tech Miracles?
By Gregory Favre

Boomer Boss
Meet Gen Y Journo

Today's News
By Jon Dube

  Site Map | Search Poynter | Contact Poynter | FAQ | Our Guidelines QuickLink  
  Copyright © 1995-2005 The Poynter Institute
  801 Third Street South | St. Petersburg, FL 33701 | Phone (888) 769-6837
  Site developed & hosted by DataGlyphics, Inc.