Ch 2: Consorting with the Enemy
Print, broadcast and online news operations have developed different “cultures” in which they do news. Newspaper newsrooms are more decentralized, rely more on the beat system and have fewer deadlines throughout the workday than broadcast or online news. Broadcast and onlinenewsroom staffs tend to be smaller and often operate as generalists doing several stories in one day.
Each news organization has developed teams of people who do “inside” or production work – putting together story elements for a final news product – and “outside” or newsgathering work – gathering story elements and information for that news product.
Inside work in newspapers involves assigning editors, copy editors, layout and graphic designers while outside work usually involved reporters and photographers. In television and radio, anchors, assignment editors, line or show producers carry the load of inside work while reporters, photographers, audio technicians and field producers conduct outside work. In online, editors, producers often do both production “inside” work and reporting “outside” work.
News organizations with strict deadlines, such as newspapers and network and local newscasts, have struggled with adjusting to the rise of the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news cycle. Convergence has opened up new ways for news media tied down by strict production and distribution timelines to answer consumer demands for instant news.
Convergence has also required news organization to work at creating new lines of communication and new attitudes about sharing story information and ideas. They are sharing story budgets, or the list of reporting efforts being planned for any given day. In those daily story plans will be information on how reporters’ work will be developed and used in different media.
Convergence asks journalism to think about putting the news consumer as the focus of their approach to producing and distributing a story.