Digital First Media today announced Project Unbolt, designed to accelerate changes in workflow, structure and culture that will result in a truly Digital First newsroom.
“Since newsrooms began publishing online the digital operations have been bolted on to the legacy print workflow and structure. While Digital First Media’s newsrooms have made great strides, we must accelerate our digital transformation,” said John Paton, Chief Executive Officer of Digital First Media. “Project Unbolt is about reimagining every aspect of the newsgathering and publishing process. Despite the continued existence of print, our workflow and our technology are digital only, not just Digital First.”
Project Unbolt will be led by Steve Buttry, Digital First Media’s Digital Transformation Editor, and will start with pilot programs at theNew Haven Register in New Haven, Conn.; The News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio; The El Paso Times in El Paso, Texas and The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.
Project Unbolt’s pilot will focus on:
- Coverage and Storytelling – Digital newsrooms will provide news and information that is live (when possible), interactive, visual, relevant and accurate
- Processes – Digital newsrooms are designed to provide quality, accurate journalism that is created for digital platform, with print editors harvesting and adapting digital content to produce print editions
- Engagement – Newsroom engagement will focus on using a variety of tools and techniques including social media, blog networks, crowdsourcing, curation, live chats and in-person engagement
- Planning and Management – Newsroom communication, meetings, budget, staffing, training and goals will reflect and be aligned to digital priorities
- Mobile – Newsroom staff will deliver strong mobile content and utilize mobile tools in the newsgathering and publishing process
- Standards – In processes, communications and discipline, newsrooms will reflect commitment to providing original/attributed, accurate and verified content
“Project Unbolt is a focus on transforming our existing newsrooms while remaining true to the basic tenets of journalism. Digital First Media’s journalists will continue to provide accurate, detailed news and information but will do so by reimagining the way we gather news and freeing our journalists from their print-based culture and workflow,” said Mr. Buttry. “The future of news and information is digital and our newsrooms are going to be rebuilt to be agile and to be responsive to that future.”
Updates from the Project Unbolt pilot programs will be shared through in-company training, via webinar and through blog entries athttp://www.ProjectUnbolt.com.