Fostering innovation

How NYT liveblogged Thursday’s GOP debate from Slack

To speed up its liveblogging process during last week’s GOP debate, The New York Times used a Chrome plugin to liveblog directly from internal messaging platform Slack. The plug-in allowed reporters to write posts directly in a Slack channel, where an editor could then review the posts before they were exported to another channel that […]

Trying to be as productive as possible may hold you back from innovation

The emphasis on productivity has gone too far, Tony Crabbe writes, and it’s holding back our opportunity for innovation. While increasing productivity can also increase profitability, Crabbe says increased productivity will rarely keep you ahead in the long run. When productivity increases, competitors increasingly use the same technology and best practices to achieve similar results, […]

How news organizations integrate Slack into their workflow

Work chatroom software Slack is breaking down walls in newsrooms between editorial and product teams, Laura Hazard Owen writes. Vox Media product director Lauren Rabaino says that using Slack keeps everyone’s workflows and projects transparent, but it also fosters a sense of camaraderie across teams. Fusion editor-in-chief Alexis Madrigal says: “You can get immediate feedback […]

How ProPublica is experimenting with user-experience research without spending a lot of money

Publishers are beginning to take advantage of user-experience research to figure out how to best connect with the people who are reading their content, shifting the thinking from institution to the consumers. ProPublica puts out a call on social media and uses videoconferencing to talk to users and ask questions about a product, an inexpensive […]

Why a Massachusetts newspaper is letting an artist take over its front page for 26 days

The Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchberg, Mass., is handing over its front page to artist Anna Schuleit Haber for 26 days. Schuleit Haber is putting an art installation devoted to the alphabet on the paper’s front page, with a different artist designing each letter. Each day’s newspaper includes a profile of the artist who created […]

An idea that didn’t work: Why a shared web maintenance team didn’t take off for Local News Lab

Local News Lab, the Dodge Foundation’s experimental network of six pilot local news sites in New Jersey and New York City, wanted to provide centralized support in areas such as web development and administration. So they partnered with a local tech firm that would provide unlimited basic tech support for the news sites. However, Josh […]

As media companies think of themselves also as tech companies, how big publishers are integrating news with their technology staff

Recognizing that publishing is now more than just the story, more media companies are also thinking of themselves as technology companies. At The Washington Post, much of its technology staff is embedded into the newsroom, working closely with editorial to create publishing tools and story templates. The Huffington Post’s VP of engineering Sam Napolitano says: […]

Washington Post’s Greg Barber: Know when to abandon an idea in favor of a better one

Greg Barber, director of digital news projects at The Washington Post, says it’s important in a newsroom to know when you need to hold a line on an idea. But Barber says it’s also important to know when to put your ego aside and be ready to tweak or abandon an idea entirely. Barber says: […]

Lessons for the journalism industry from the tech world: Don’t be afraid of mistakes and ‘give your weird ideas a chance’

Christopher Guess says journalism’s obsession with perfection is holding it back from fostering new ideas. The thinking that new products shouldn’t be seen by the public until they’re absolutely perfect is one the technology industry was also held back by, Guess says, leading to slow iterations of software and hardware, which the Internet transformed. Guess […]

Shazna Nessa: Data journalists will become integrated with newsrooms

Nessa, the Knight Foundation’s director of journalism, says data journalists will become integrated with newsrooms, just as web production teams did. Instead of having a specialized data team in the newsroom, data journalists could specialize in a beat while becoming fully integrated into the newsroom. Nessa says: “I love the idea that … there’s somebody […]