Redesigning the newsroom 

Following its adoption of Méthode, Italian daily La Stampa creates a dedicated newsroom for its new convergent workflows.

Based in Turin, La Stampa is Italy’s third-largest general interest daily with a circulation of over 300,000. As part of a plan to create greater integration between print and digital operations,  La Stampa  adopted the Méthode editorial platform in 2011.

As well as choosing a new editorial platform, La Stampa decided to create a purpose-built newsroom whose design would reflect the radical reorganization of the paper’s workflows.

La Stampa’s old newsroom, where the paper had been produced since 1968, reflected the essentially linear, one-track nature of the editorial process. News coverage was decided early in the day at the management end of the newsroom and was delegated through a series of editorial teams, each in its own isolated office, before emerging later in the day as articles and layouts ready for printing.

When the Internet arrived, an independent Web editorial team was created, working in isolation, mostly writing their own materials and occasionally cutting and pasting from content created by their print colleagues. As the importance of the digital channels grew, there was increasing risk of duplication of effort between print and Web personnel. The launch of a mobile subscription service and a tablet edition made it even more necessary to redesign the newsroom to handle multiple-channel operations.

The adoption of the Méthode platform and its channel-neutral XML workflows was an opportunity to re-engineer La Stampa’s news-creating processes.

The new newsroom layout is concentric in form. At the center sit the news executives, art director, photo editor and Web editor who originate and direct the news creation operations. They are free to exchange information and requests between themselves. In the second circle sit the editors responsible for the fastest moving news categories: politics, crime, business etc.

In the outer circle are the technical and typographic staff responsible for preparing content for its online and offline publication. There is a high degree of visibility around and between the circles.

As well as a spatial reorganization, the editorial newsflow has also undergone a shift in timing and priority. There is no longer a demarcation between print and digital staff - all journalists produce materials for all channels. The workflow now follows a ‘Web-first’ model in which the day’s news content is published to the digital channels, before the editorial staff start to prepare the print edition.

The concentric arrangement results in efficient workflow from the executive teams in the central hub to the editors and technical staff in the outer circles. The arrangement also facilitates lateral communications between colleagues working in different output channels. Duplication of effort has been eliminated. Time-to-market for online content has been reduced by allowing digital workflows to proceed in parallel to the print stories at different speeds.