As journalists turn entrepreneurs and run their own news operations, the question emerges of what size should the newsroom be.
It’s a key question as existing news organizations ponder web-only conversions or start-ups. Several model sizes have been shown recently.
NYT auto writer Maynard leaving paper
Maynard, a Michigan native, will be based in Chicago and lead a team of three reporters and a new media producer in the production of long form radio feature reports, special programs for radio and television, and web content. The project will also seek to engage the citizens of the region in an exploration of the region’s past and future.
Ex-Fortune Editors Plan Tech Media Launch
Former Fortune magazine editors and writers David Kirkpatrick, Peter Petre and Brent Schlender have banded together to form Techonomy, a new media business they say aims to convince leaders from all sectors that technological and social invention is central for organizations.
A key factor in their business model are conferences and they are considering regional conferences too. More: Techonomy’s press release
Richmond BizSense — This business news site founded by Aaron Kremer has hired another reporter. This site, started in 2008, now has six staffers — five in editorial/content and a v.p. of sales & marketing.
C-Change Media Inc. — this site is run by John A. Byrne, former editor-in-chief of Businessweek.com and executive editor of Business Week. At this time, the site is still small. The site is expected to launch in June. In an interview in mediabistro.com, Byrne described the company as a mother ship with satellites. Each satellite operation will have its own editor-in-chief with the rest of the contributions will be from contract and free-lance writers.
It’s not new, but I watch TechFlash — A two-year-old web site that is run within the Puget Sound Business Journal — as an online-only model. TechFlash has three editor/writers (Todd Bishop, John Cook and Eric Engleman) and its business operations are handled by Puget Sound Business Journal staff.
There’s also Seattlepi.com, which became web-only in March 2009 and is owned by The Hearst Corp. Mónica Guzmán told a panel at SXSW in March that it’s editorial staff is 12 reporters, three producers and one photographer.
The number in these news rooms are smaller than the old print models. Technology in the workplace and in the tools journalists use make it easier for reporters to take and edit acceptable images for their articles, which saves some staff.
The news room is now more flexible. Work no longer takes place just in the office or just on this one machine. Articles are published sooner in the with fewer editors touching the copy before it it published. Changes in the article are ongoing as readers and the news develops.
And the staffs are just doing more. The hours worked are longer and the blur between work and not working is greater. They start working and posting before the leave for the office, while at the office and after they leave the office — if they even have an office. The office could be the laptop in the bedroom.