Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2001

The World Company takes innovative approach in merging news operations resources

October 28, 2001

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In the news business, it's called "convergence." Across the country, newspapers, television stations, online operations and radio stations are pooling resources to deliver news in different ways to better serve readers and viewers.

For The World Company, the News Center at Seventh and New Hampshire streets is the heart of convergence. The news operations of the Journal-World, 6News and World Online are housed together in the former post office building. Editors and reporters from all three outlets sit together and work together every day. The goal is to capitalize on the strengths of each medium the speed of online, the impact of television and the depth of newspapers to produce a complete and compelling news product.

To facilitate the move to news convergence, two World Company employees have taken new duties for the joint news operation. Ann Gardner, editorial page editor of the Journal-World, also is serving as multimedia managing editor, and Greg Hurd, host of Sunflower Productions' "River City Weekly," is the assistant multimedia managing editor.

The News Center was designed as a multimedia facility. Key editors from all three media sit at a central desk. Newspaper and television reporters are stationed around the desk, grouped by the subject areas they cover. The arts/features and sports departments are on the mezzanine of the building. Both floors have television editing bays. Robotic cameras on each floor are linked to the 6News studio, located across New Hampshire Street, allowing reporters from all three media to offer live reports from the News Center.

Local residents already are seeing the results of converged news coverage. "Lawrence Is Growing: Finding Common Ground," which won top honors in the recent Inland Press Assn. national newspaper contest, was a joint effort of the Journal-World, 6News and World Online. For breaking news, local residents can look at World Online for the headline, then follow the story on 6News and in the Journal-World.

Viewers of 6News will see more Journal-World and Online reporters on television, and more 6News reporters will be writing for the Journal-World. People who want to know more about certain news, features or sports stories can go online to see additional video or photographs or find background information and links to other resources.

"The combined news operation offers staff members a lot of new opportunities and gives our readers and viewers better access to local news," Gardner said. "This is an exciting opportunity that we think will produce the best possible local news coverage of the Lawrence area."

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