Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why change?

There are lots of reasons for news organizations to change and some of the best ones can be heard this week in Newsplex. Fourteen journalists from across North and South America have gathered for a two-day seminar on change management. Dietmar Schantin, director of Ifra's Newsplex initiative, presented an insider's look at the change process at London's Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph, a big newspaper with 460 journalists and 900,000 daily circulation, made significant changes in its newsroom organization and workflows when it moved into a striking new newsroom in October, 2006. The DT reorganization is viewed as the convergence story of the year worldwide. Dr. Schantin explained how the changes were implemented with strong leadership from the top of the organization.

The story stands in stark contrast to so many newspapers, where change is approached timidly and in small, incremental steps. This lesson of Newsplex is that change takes a lot of commitment from the top.

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