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Friday, October 14, 2005

Greensboro News-Record Editor Weighs In On The News-Sentinel

John Robinson References Indiana Parley
Says Transformation to Online Publication Would Be Bold and Exciting

What the Editor of the Greensboro(NC) News-Record wrote today on his blog:
Alum in the news

I haven't spoken with Linda Austin lately, but I should. She was the managing editor here from 1999-2002, and then she went to The News-Sentinel in Ft. Wayne, Ind., as executive editor. Now she's in the middle of a media/blogosphere dogpile.

The local business weekly there published a story saying "a plan has been discussed to turn the 172-year-old afternoon newspaper into a predominately online publication." Both Linda and her publisher denied such a plan exists.

Some bloggers weighed in, and today the editorial page editor strikes back on his blog.

We are having a series of meetings -- small groups, led by Executive Editor Linda Austin -- to talk about what the future might hold for us. The idea is to have lively discussions to get the best ideas from all staff members. What use will we make of the Internet? How can we make the best use of our information-gathering capabilities? How will we integrate the print product with all the other technologies we need to be experimenting with? What will that print product look like? These are the same kinds of conversations going on in newsrooms across the country.

Indeed. We've certainly been having them here.

I don't know anything more about it than I've read and cited here (thanks, Romenesko). But I know that Linda is sharp, thinks deeply about the future and isn't the least bit duplicitous. For the record, I hope there's some truth to it. Transforming an afternoon paper into a rich and dynamic online publication would be a bold and exciting opportunity for a newspaper company, if you ask me.

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