NextNewsroom blog – Randy Covington

From NextNewsroom:

Randy Covington, IRFA Newsplex director

Newsplex participants come in thinking it’s about technology, but “really what we’re dealing with is how we view stories. News organizations have been production-centered (print or broadcast), that needs to change.

Example of innovation:

  • “Star Car” facilitates getting the Shelby Star’s content online. It has a high-powered cell phone antenna and can create a Wi-Fi field around the car. It has a dashcam and can stream live. (They have a newsroom of 17 and all of them are cross-platform journalists).
  • “From our perspective, it’s thinking about how we cover the news” and leading us to the realization of how to build it.

Newsplex has an initiative to determine new roles for the “Full Media Newsroom”

  • Newsflow editor: Story
  • Multiskilled journalist: Content
  • News resourcer: Context
  • Story builder: Experience

People ask, does everyone have to do this? No, he says.

Multiskilled journalist

  • A media “generalist”
  • Understands different formats; familiar with various technologies and equipment
  • (I missed the last attributes)

Example: Heidi McGuire, Gannett backpack journalist, Denver

“Heidi really likes to shape and control her own work.” There are Heidi McGuires coming out of schools and you even have some in your newsroom.

News resourcer

  • Informatics journalist/editor
  • Applies news judgment with a thorough understanding of the information landscape
  • Chief editorial information office

Librarians/researchers: “We need them more than we ever did.”

In the past, the researcher was seen as a gopher. He feels this person should be a leader.

Story builder
“We’re going back to the days of the front page.”

  • Combines roles of print copy editor and broadcast producer
  • Develops and deploys integrated packages across media streams
  • (more)

“It makes far more sense to have the same editor for more than one platform.” But, “it’s not one-size-fits-all.”

He’s looking for editors who understand different forms of storytelling and can give it depth.

Newsflow director

  • Directs coverage across formats and delivery services
  • Integrates multiple products under a unified editorial brand
  • Ensures service to broad range of news consumers

Three organization models:

The Tampa Tribune – Tampa Bay, Fla.; considered the model for convergence in the U.S.

The Nordjyske Medier (Aalborg, Denmark) – was a dying newspaper and needed to reinvent themselves. They decided they would create a 24-hour news channel, like the original CNN Headline News. They have daily newspapers, two radio stations, Web sites, etc.

  • Editorial staff of 248
  • Five “media conductors”
  • Editors for each medium “refine” the content
  • Editorial departments serve all media

They would charge 1,000 euros for visitors.

Daily Telegraph (London) – One of the visiting organization was The Daily Telegraph.

  • Story components from the starts
  • Ownership
  • Three job titles: reporter, editor, producer. They eliminated all the other “honorary” titles.

They used to have 13 editors look at each story.

2 thoughts on “NextNewsroom blog – Randy Covington”

  1. A slight correction: You’ll find The Tampa Tribune (and its online and broadcast partners) at (it stands for Tampa Bay Online). is actually the Tribune’s rival-in-residence, The St. Petersburg Times.

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