Monday, January 29, 2007

About LA Times going web-centric

Here is how former journalist and blogger Gary Goldhammer characterized the Los Angeles Times, historically.
The Times is as fractious and fragile as L.A. itself, as diverse and as divided. Layoffs, careless leadership, and ignorance of new horizontal media structures left The Times in the journalism Dark Ages. While other papers braced for battle and embraced the future, The Times cowered in its Spring Street cave like an injured animal.

He notes that the paper has "rearranged its deck chairs" before, to no avail. But adds:
The difference now, however, is the coming tide of journalistic change is raising all boats. After all, this is not a course The Times decided to take, but rather a decision it had to make.

As part of the move to web-centric journalism, (Times editor James E.)O’Shea said all reporters would take an “Internet 101” course to teach them how to be “savvy multimedia journalists” and improve their response to breaking news. Business Editor Russ Stanton will be the paper’s first “innovation” editor, charged with molding the editorial staff into podcasters and videographers ...

Whether this shift will give reporters more job security and help bring The Times into the 21st Century is a question we will see answered in public...

Read the whole post at Below the fold, or not. I mention it here for two reasons. First, let's hear it for training. And second, the powerful inevitability of it all. Not the guaranteed success of it all, but the need to face it.

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