October 9, 2009

Oregonian editor tells newsroom new arrangments, new journalists needed

Journalists hoping to continue working at the Oregonian got clear orders Thursday: If you're staying, you're going to interact with the community, know the community, and help the community.

The print operation will take on more responsibility for the web, developing more topic pages, generating more content 24/7 and interacting with the people previously known as the audience.

The safety net of multiple edits will give way to "one-touch editing" as the news organization strives to streamline and change its main focus to delivering news from printing a newspaper.

You can read the plan via Oregon Media Central which shares an Oregonian memo that says many current news teams will 'cease to exist'"

A careful reading, though, shows the real changes focus on the type of journalists wanted: Flexible, Internet smart, independent, and willing to foster community. And don't forget the traditional values and skills of journalists.

Oregonian executive editor Peter Bhatia's memo outlines a reorganization that replaces many teams in favor of three teams: Local Expertise and Enterprise Reporting, another called Community and an editing/production team. Community, by the way, is more then geography as the reorganization recognizes communities form around topics. The production team is more then just print - it is a universal desk for web and print, all web and all print.

It is great to see newspapers that are part of Advance Publications spell out plans as employees decide if they should take offered buyouts.

The Oregonian memo refers to the buyout offer made last month.

I've written about The Oregonian before, including the retirement of its publisher, an ad wrapping its front page and other topics.


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