More On Merger Of NYT Digital, Print Newsrooms

My OJR colleague Mark Glaser talked to the Times’ Bill Keller and Martin Nisenholtz about the reasons behind integrating the two newsrooms, the planning and some of the expectations. For instance, Nisenholtz hopes for a dramatic increase in multimedia offerings, from a couple a day to several dozen.
Also from Nisenholtz: “What the Times needs to do is be as good as anyone in the world at the commodity stuff. In other words, how you manipulate content and make it accessible. What newspaper Web sites have ignored sometimes is the emphasis on usability and application value. And that’s why some of the portals have stepped in and developed news sites without having any content — because they’ve been really good with the commodity stuff.”

The most telling comment, though, may come from an unidentified print staffer who says some reporters are worried that they’ll be asked to write two stories in the time it now takes to do one and will wind up “potentially scooping themselves.” Until most of the staffers understand they’re working for a 24/7 news operation that crosses platforms, integration will be a mirage.