The team that saves the Post?

After repeated nav redesigns and dynamic page switchouts killed my daily reading of the Post print edition indexes (if I’m missing a feed to get all of the headlines at once, please point me to it), I found that Edward P. Jones profile linked in the paper’s new Story Lab blog.

Yes, as an rightly vented to me today, the Post needs to realize everything should not have its own blog. Here’s a scary full list of them, somewhat out of date. But I may try Story Lab for a while. The blog comes from the new local enterprise reporting squad, under the direction of Marc Fisher, formerly the country’s best combined local columnist/blogger. His small team is narratively dangerous and young enough to have a chance at being the voices that save the paper.

What’s the team missing? Web journalists. That’s inexcusable, and I hope they’re knocking down merger walls now to integrate talent. If the team sees its mission as just newspaper writing, with only Web integration on the initial reporting end, then… that’s too bad. I hope not. You can’t save writing alone. You have to save storytelling.

The blog posts so far give me some worries there: hard-launching the blog with a call for tattoo anecdotes, talk of reporter notebooks, the uncomfortable conflation of crowdsourcing and transparency debate. Same with a team reporter saying in his bio that he doesn’t tweet (I don’t care if you don’t until you proclaim it) and linking to the printer version of an Esquire story (torturing Web folks on a line-width rack).

I am hopeful. A life Post fan, I have to be. It just needs to get around harder online. Getting half the great minds into a room isn’t enough.

3 thoughts on “The team that saves the Post?”

  1. Patrick, all experiments welcome, but you know so much more than these guys that you post praising them sounds tortured. Of course, they are actually conducting the experiment, while you’re … never mind.

  2. If Slumdog Millionaire taught us anything… But in all seriousness, I do think there’s room for a productive, integrated storytelling process in mainstream newsrooms, rather than just hanging out at the writing or design ends. With the general perspective projected so far, it seems like this team (if it wants to look) would have a better shot than most at finding that process.

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