A hurricane wanders into a Journal Register Company publishing experiment and the media business is better

Published 2011-08-30

About 14 months ago the Journal Register Company’s Ben Franklin Project challenged our staffers to imagine their reporting and newsgathering processes without any of the systems they were used to using. At that time the assignment was to promote innovation and challenge our existing workflow. That experiment showed long-tail value this past weekend as journalists from across Journal Register Company deployed to cover Hurricane Irene. What follows includes the practical application – including examples – of how Journal Register Company staffers from across the Northeast created one of the largest, local breaking-news-gathering networks in the nation. They did so by focusing on the audience; leveraging social media; and by using free tools to keep the communities they serve informed.

If you have any role in the news business whatsoever, I firmly believe this is something you should read and think about. Practicing just one of these ideas outside of a breaking news context will set you apart.