Changing newsroom culture

Good column by Steve Outing at Editor & Publisher on the need for cultural changes in the newsroom. A few excerpts:

“The feeling in newsrooms, especially among the people on the new-media side, seems to be that there are an awful lot of people within organizations that aren’t on board with a vision of changing for the future. Even when top management has developed a new corporate vision for a digital, multi-media and less print-centered future, and communicated it to “the troops,” implementation is being slowed by many people in the organization — including mid-level managers — who still don’t buy into the idea that a total transformation of the news organization is necessary.”

“Everyone’s got work to do to put out the “daily miracle,” but in an era when the old industry model is in decline, we can no longer afford to have a workforce where the majority are solely doing the work of “putting out the paper.”

“The smart news organization in 2008 will be the one that encourages innovation — no, requires it — from ALL its employees. It will get everyone involved: in planning meetings; in committees charged with specific research and/or implementation projects. It will create some time in the schedules of everyone in the organization to do the work of innovation, and make that an integral assignment.”

“Most importantly, it will develop a training program to teach new-media skills to those still lacking, and regularly bring in innovation and creativity experts to guide both managers and employees. With the latter, exposure to and interaction with those experts will be company-wide.”