They were published a month ago, but I’ve only just seen a picture of the much-heralded ‘hub and spoke’ integrated newsroom at the (Daily) Telegraph‘s new offices in Buckingham Palace Road. Ian Douglas, writing on his technology blog, defends the concept in the face of criticism in today’s Independent from a former editor of the Express:
There are myriads of small skills involved in writing a good headline or producing a decent story that are individually not especially complex but collectively make all the difference. These skills do not transfer well from print to radio or from video to column writing… Convergence encourages the wrong kind of journalism. The stuff that does translate well is precisely the stuff that we want less of, the journalism of very little value.
The joint commissioning process for print and online, the hub-and-spoke office layout with all departments within hailing distance of each other, the daily touchpoints creating rolling deadlines, all these things are designed to create insightful and reporter-led news coverage when it’s wanted rather than once a day.
I think both are probably right. Some old-school colleagues probably won’t adapt too well to the new approach. Some people just don’t have good faces for video, or good voices for audio. And likewise, those from a TV background will need time to get away from the rather pithy style of a video voiceover. It will take time. But the rolling news revolution has already happened, and it’s high-time you all got with it.