Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nieman Journalism Lab Looks at 5 Newsrooms of the Future

With all the massive changes going on in the profession of journalism, I feel that part of my job duties these days are to read different blogs and web sites that cover what is happening. One of my favorite sites these days is the Nieman Journalism Lab blog. The site was specifically created to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.

The blog's May 22 post was entitled "Inside five newsrooms that H.L. Mencken wouldn’t recognize." It offers video tours of five media outlets: Talking Points Memo; Gawker; the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph; the Spokesman Review; and the Valley Independent Sentinel.

The first newsroom I worked in was an open style, with desks facing each other. It was noisy, with electric typewriters always going and a television playing CNN. My current newsroom is similar, minus the typewriters.

My favorite by far was the Daily Telegraph, which has brought its web and print products together on one floor into what it calls a media group. The key word for the operation is integration. The narrator notes that it's one newsroom for all platforms and everyone key to the operation is on the same floor.

I earned my B.A. in broadcast journalism from American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C. The school is currently spending $20 million to upgrade the classic McKinley Building on campus to create the next generation of journalism learning space, including a converged newsroom that will handle print video, audio, online and multimedia storytelling covering journalism, film and public relations.

And NABJ is also stepping up to the plate for its membership as it prepares to move into its new space this fall at the University of Maryland-College Park. The new offices will include classrooms, news labs, professional training centers, a theater, a resource center, a multimedia lab and space for meetings, among other things.

With so many NABJ members out of work, having access to these resources to improve skills and become more competitive in the work place is more important than ever.

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