The following is the platform I present to the Staff Editorial Board for the elections process.
The Hullabaloo: Digital First Media Company
Perhaps the single most important adaptive trait is to recognize that we are in a revolution, in its sense of a change so large that the existing structure of society can’t contain it without being altered by it … There is no solution to the present crisis. One corollary is there is no stable state coming to the practice of news any time soon. We are not living through a transition from A to B but a transition from one to many … Individual journalists in whatever area of expertise need to think of experimentation with the aim of innovation as something they practice rather than endure.
C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell, Clay Shirky
The Hullabaloo must embrace new technology to remain an effective news source to the Tulane community, but with this transition comes a need for widespread trust between staff members, from the Managing Board to the first-time contributor. I propose an intense focus on front-end education. Basic training, in technology and content, will give reporters the tools they need to submit better quality work and thereby, eliminate excess stages of editing.
To foster this education process and streamline the online vs. print production process I propose an extensive, yet vital, change in staff structure. While none of these recommendations can guarantee an obstacle-free leap into the digital age, I am confident these changes will move The Hullabaloo into present-day journalism.
Digitalization – Efficiency – Education
- I recommend that before school begins The Hullabaloo holds individual-focused training for the Board that will develop skills each staff member will need for his/her position, as well as fill in gaps in basic knowledge of The Hullabaloo, as opposed to general education.
- I recommend two reporter training sessions per month, run by the Training Coordinator with the assistance of the Recruitment Coordinator, the Personnel Director and each section associate. During these sessions, reporters would learn how to post articles to the website, how to use social media as a journalism tool and how to write a basic news, feature and opinion piece. Reporters would be required to attend one session before their first article.
- The print team would operate much like the newsroom does now, with one production night per week. Each article would go through approximately four edits. The newspaper will be a shorter version of what The Hullabaloo puts out now. One senior reporter would be in charge of an in-depth feature every two weeks in addition to his/her regular weekly assignment.
- The online team would produce content daily, at least one article per day, using staggering deadlines throughout the week and holding one weekly reporters meeting. However, only the online section editor and one copy editor would edit these articles before they were published online. One senior reporter would be in charge of directly assisting the section editor in breaking stories, and an associate would be in charge of educating/guiding reporters.
- Copy editors would be assigned to one particular section, develop a close relationship with the corresponding section editor and be responsible for fact-checking/editing the section’s print and online content. Copy editor associates would fact-check/edit smaller sections of print.
- I recommend a more intense focus on recruitment using the Recruitment Coordinator. This position would be solely concentrated on finding future Hullabaloo staff: going to organizations to speak, putting up flyers, reaching out with social media, etc. He/she would work closely with the Training Coordinator. In addition, the Personnel Director would hold more social events for all Hullabaloo staff to integrate newcomers.
- I recommend that The Hullabaloo’s business department separates completely from content and uses revenue strategies outside of advertising, such as renting out services like layout design and event photography.