Newsroom as a blank slate:
designing for a multimedia future


Today I had a chance to visit the brand-new newsroom of a client, shown above. A few desks from the circulation department are currently sort of squatting in the space, but will be cleared out soon, leaving quite a large open area which the newsroom will occupy. It seems almost the size of a football field, but will fill up quickly when one realizes that news sections, magazines, photo, design, and yes, television, radio, and online divisions will all have to find a home here.

What to do with this new space? Divide it into equal quarters, put up walls, and let each medium have its own nook? To take the existing layouts from the old buildings and plop them into this pristine space, hoping it all works together well?

Well, NO. Management of this newspaper wisely realized that to create a truly integrated news operation, newsroom geography is a critical issue, and now they have the luxury of a fairly open canvas on which to paint. It’s a rare treat to be asked to help redesign a NEWSROOM, as well as a newspaper, but this is the task I undertake now, advising them on how best to use the space, for now and the future. It’s a complicated process with no easy answers and no right or wrong. (Should the print photojournalists sit next to the print designers, or next to the video photojournalists?) We take into account the processes of news gathering and production, but also the needs for meeting space, creative endeavours, integration with commercial (advertising) representatives, and more. It’s truly an exciting chance to create the newsroom of the future! I hope to have more to update on this in future months.

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1 Comment

  1. ngatia_thomas

     /  February 28, 2010

    All the desks should be on wheels, and the walls too, if there are any! We are curious what the noise levels in the “open newsroom” concept will be like.

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