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Managing an Online Newsroom


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Develop a structure to manage the writing, editing and publishing workflow using collaborative tools. We’ll cover best practices for frequency of publication, student responsibilities, tracking and grading the work and dealing with school administration.

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Managing an Online Newsroom

  1. 1. MANAGING anONLINE NEWSROOM Logan Aimone, MJE // School Newspapers Online Tuesday, March 18, 14
  2. 2. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM You’ve decided to adopt an online first attitude. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  3. 3. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Now what? Tuesday, March 18, 14
  4. 4. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Here’s what: • Commit. • Build the audience. • Develop a structure for writing, editing and teaching. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  5. 5. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM In the same way you must adapt the tools to work on the Web, you must adapt the classroom. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  6. 6. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Students will be in different points of the production schedule daily. And that’s OK. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  7. 7. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM What do teachers and students need to do to accommodate Web publishing? Tuesday, March 18, 14
  8. 8. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM 5 things to think about and address: • Day-to-day activities • Leadership structures • Coverage decisions • Grading • Fun Tuesday, March 18, 14
  9. 9. DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES Tuesday, March 18, 14
  10. 10. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Day-to-day Activities • The daily activities of an online-first news staff look a lot like the daily activities of a print-only class. • However, each student could be at a different place in the publishing process. • You can bring order to the chaos. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  11. 11. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Day-to-day Activities • Brainstorm and plan stories. Have a quick session daily. What’s happening? What do readers need to know? • Teach lessons. Large-group, mini-lessons, ad hoc. • Focus on the day’s priority. If it’s the print edition, spend time on design, editing. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  12. 12. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Day-to-day Activities • Communicate beyond classroom. Develop a method to facilitate organization and communication. • One-on-one checkins. These add accountability and opportunity to redirect student efforts. • Outside class. Coverage might require evenings, weekends and layout work nights (for print). Tuesday, March 18, 14
  13. 13. LEADERSHIP STRUCTURES Tuesday, March 18, 14
  14. 14. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Leadership Structures • Accommodate the online-first philosophy by revising student leadership positions and descriptions. • Empower students to make decisions responsibly. • Plan for when big news happens. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  15. 15. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Leadership Roles • Online Editor-in-Chief option. A student with a title and responsibilities equal to the print editor. • Expanded roles option. Assignment role for managing editor and additional coordinating for photographers/photo editors must be expanded. • Social media coordinator. This person supervises adoption, policies, training and voice via social media channels. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  16. 16. COVERAGE DECISIONS Tuesday, March 18, 14
  17. 17. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions • Determine the best platform. Some stories are told better in print, while others are told better online (or will appear first online). • Post when it’s ready. Don’t just dump content on the website every three or four weeks. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  18. 18. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions Use a planning process: • Which stories will appear in print? Online? Both? • How can online and print combine to create multimedia coverage? • How can you tell advance and follow-up stories using both platforms? Live coverage? Tuesday, March 18, 14
  19. 19. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions Discuss the Web-specific elements: • What components does a Web story need to be effective at telling the story: • photos • video • audio • poll • hyperlinks • infographic • pull quote (mug optional) • related stories Tuesday, March 18, 14
  20. 20. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions Establish timelines and deadlines: • Set up an editing process that allows for students to finish and publish work at different times, not just the general deadline for a print issue. • What deadlines make sense? Tuesday, March 18, 14
  21. 21. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions Determine the editing flow: • You need a tool that allows you to collaborate in real time. • This speeds up the editing process. • Google Drive (Apps/Docs) is great for this. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  22. 22. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Coverage Decisions Determine the publishing flow: • Users can have different roles with levels of permission and responsibility. • Have reporters place story in draft mode, including contextual links and pull quote suggestions. • Once a story is edited, it can be approved and published. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  23. 23. GRADING Tuesday, March 18, 14
  24. 24. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Grading • You will likely need to shift your paradigm for grading. • You might need to try a few different formats until you find what works for you and your school. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  25. 25. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Grading • Assignments will have many forms. How do you accommodate this in grading? • Your school may have requirements. Work within them. • Set up a checklist of requirements to earn grades. • Determine competency levels and grade based on level. • Establish production quota for quarter/semester. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  26. 26. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Grading • What happens when students slack off, flake out or just don’t produce? • There are tools to help. CSPA, NSPA, JEA, state associations, your colleagues. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  27. 27. FUN Tuesday, March 18, 14
  28. 28. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Fun • The production cycle doesn’t have the same ebb and flow as each printed paper, so you will need to build in time to celebrate, evaluate, bond and grow. • Incorporate Web milestones (analytics, hits, likes, retweets) into the celebration list. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  29. 29. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Managing online first takes some work and an open mind. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  30. 30. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM The great journalism you produce will look different. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  31. 31. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM You’re using today’s technology and laying a foundation for the future. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  32. 32. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM You’ll teach your students (or your peers) to adapt to changing circumstances. Tuesday, March 18, 14
  33. 33. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Take the leap! Tuesday, March 18, 14
  34. 34. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM Ready to jump in? Tuesday, March 18, 14
  35. 35. MANAGING an ONLINE NEWSROOM QUESTIONS? Let’s hear ’em. • Contact me at or @loganaimone • School Newspapers Online • See me at the table in the exhibitor area ? Tuesday, March 18, 14