News from the newsrooms

by andybechtel

I love being in a newsroom. Although it looks like any other office these days, the newsroom is still a special place of energy, dedication and (on occasion) intrigue.

One of the highlights of my summer was spending a few days in the newsroom at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., to work with the staff on alternative story forms. In the summer of 2006, I was fortunate enough to get to visit the newsroom of The New York Times. And being in a newsroom is part of the reason that I am angling for an “internship” in online news for the summer of 2008.

New newsrooms are making news this summer. The magazine Fast Company has a spiffy one, as does The New York Times, although the latter move has also drawn criticism. And Ifra has built “newsrooms for the future” at the University of South Carolina and in Darmstadt, Germany.

These efforts are aimed at professional journalism. Now the changes are reaching the college level. As part of a major remake of the campus at Duke University, the campus paper, The Chronicle, has the opportunity to get a new home that can help the paper cover the campus in more effective and powerful ways. The effort is called the Next Newsroom Project. Here’s what Chris O’Brien, a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News and a Duke alumnus, says about the project:

We’re just beginning our work to research and design the ideal newsroom for the next 50 years of journalism. We’re excited about the potential to create something that will have a tremendous impact not only for the community at Duke, but hopefully for the future of journalism.

The Next Newsroom project is looking for help and advice. Check out this site to learn more. Maybe even some Tar Heels will get involved. I hope we at least get a tour from our Blue Devil friends when it’s all done.

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