Integrating Print and Web: Editors Join the Mix

Reuters reports on how the Washington Post is integrating their web and print operations:

“While many newspapers beef up their Internet sites to meet a growing migration of readership to the Web, their print and Web production operations remain mostly separate divisions… Starting in January, print editors will “help us at the Web site and at the paper think smartly about more three-dimensional ways that you can present that news,” Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said.”

This will include:

“… ensuring reporters make it a priority to add video, audio or commentary to the page.”

Changes such as this are happening for two reasons:

  • Following their readers:
    “That integration is key to the future of newspapers, as Internet advertising is often their fastest growing segment, rising 30 to 60 percent annually, depending on the publisher, even as print ad rates and circulation declines.”
  • Financial:
    “Washington Post stock has dropped 1.1 percent since the start of 2006; The New York Times Co. has lost 10.4 percent; and McClatchy Co. has shed nearly 27 percent, compared with a 14 percent rise in the benchmark S&P 500 Index.”

The article goes on to mention that other prominent newspapers, such as USA Today and the New York Times, are integrating their web and print staffs.

Techdirt is surprised that such an integration has taken so long:

“…the fact that they would just now think of combining news rooms suggests just how out of touch they are with how the news actually works these days.”

Another Reuters reporter clarifies that the changes at the Post are more subtle:

” that this is not a merging of news operations. It’s a more subtle shift. Selected editors at the paper staff will bear more responsibility for Web presentation in addition to print presentation.”

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