The newsroom of the future: “It’s about a creative community”

The past couple weeks have been a frenzy of activity as we’ve been doling out assignments to volunteers. But I’ve also been doing some interviews myself, which has been very energizing after a lot or organizational and administrative work over the summer.

I’ve had a number of very interesting chats with folks over the past couple of weeks. But there was one phrase that stood out, from an interview I had this week with Keith Hanadel and John Gering at HLW Associates, an architectural firm in New York, that has designed dozens of newsroom in recent years.

I particularly liked a comment that Keith made. He was talking about whether or not there would even be a newsroom in the future, and he said:

“Is there a newsroom of the future, in the world of blogs and virtual communities? I think there really is a newsroom in the future. It’s about a creative community. It’s not the front page anymore where the newsroom is the centralized piece. The newsroom now has to encompass hundreds of incoming streams. The community of people, their cultural bent, will be quite different.”

I really liked taking that phrase, “creative community” and applying it to a newsroom. It seems to capture the essence of a newsroom that’s dyanmic and innovative. But it also reminds me that the newsroom is not just about the stuff, and the gadgets, and the product. It’s also about who is in there, what is the right mix of talents and skills, and how do they interact and inspire each other. So along with the big question of what is the next newsroom, there’s also: Who should be in it?

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