Posts Tagged ‘online newsroom survey’

Online Titles at N.C. Papers Skew Toward Editing

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

In the survey of people who work online at N.C. newspapers, respondents were asked to categorize themselves by a general job field and then by a more specific job title. They could chose from 10 job fields and 84 titles. We selected these fields and titles from a list of 237 job titles and detailed descriptions that The Croner Company used in its 2007 Online Content and Service Compensation Survey. All 84 job titles and their detailed descriptions can be seen here.

I previously discussed the responses to the job field question. And, it’s no surprise that the high rate and sheer number of responses from the Asheville Citizen-Times also skews the job title findings toward the “writing” field. As we dig deeper in to the findings, it will be interesting to see what duties and skills those writers have — whether they tend toward the “traditional” or the “new”.

Overall, we had 56 people answer the question about their job titles. Those 56 people chose 24 different job titles for themselves. That comes out to 2.3 people per title, which doesn’t really help us in our quest to standardize titles. Bummer.

Including Asheville, the most popular job titles were:

  • Writer - 14%
  • Manager, Content - 11%
  • Editor - 11%
  • None of the Above - 9%

The remaining 55% of responses were scattered across 20 categories.

(more…)

Online Job Titles All Over the Map

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

One of the reasons we’re doing this study is because its nearly impossible to tell from someone’s job title what they actually do in an online newsroom. If we don’t know what people do, we don’t know how to train them, hire them or judge their performance.

I definitely found some evidence of that in my survey. Of the 70 respondents, there were 55 different job titles that appeared on the paper’s masthead. Only four job titles appeared at more than one organization: content producer, general manager, online editor and online producer.

I’ll report later on some efforts to standardize these job descriptions and answer that burning question (OK, maybe not burning. Maybe smoldering.): What exactly IS a “producer,” anyway?

Online Job Titles at N.C. Newspapers

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

A quick tag cloud of all the words that appeared in the job titles of the 109 people we identified as working in online editorial content at N.C. newspapers. This idea was inspired by Eric Ulken of the L.A. Times, and programmed by TagCrowd.com

created at TagCrowd.com

More Evidence of the ‘Gannett Effect’

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

In my last post, I wondered whether the way that Gannet newspapers had changed job titles throughout its chain may have caused my survey of North Carolina online newspaper staffs to skew more “traditional” in their self-perception of the work they do. For your consideration and discussion, here’s some more proof of the “Gannett effect.”

(more…)

Online Journalists See Themselves in Traditional Fields; Could It Be the ‘Gannett Effect’?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The first thing I want to do today is to thank all of the respondents to my recent survey of people who work online at North Carolina newspapers. We had 70 people at 29 daily newspapers respond to the survey. This 64 percent response rate is very high, and I think the state’s journalists deserve credit. But I also need to give credit to Phil Meyer, who helped design the survey method and to Teresa Edwards in UNC’s Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. It also didn’t hurt that there is such widespread support in this state for the University of North Carolina and for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It’s been an honor to be affiliated with these institutions. And it’s an honor to have the chance to talk a little bit now about some of the hard working journalists in this state.

(more…)

Announcing: Online Newsroom Study

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

With the kind help of Phil Meyer, Ying Du and Sara Peach, I’ve just completed a survey of every person we could identify that works in online news production at newspapers in North Carolina. The results of the survey are in and I will be using this blog to share my notes and thoughts as I begin to cull through the numbers. I hope that by doing so, I’ll provoke some questions from you, dear reader, and some good ideas for further research.

The survey asked respondents specific questions about their own skills and duties of their daily work. It also asked them about their titles and the reporting structures of their organizations. I’ve been amazed at how little we really know — other than the hallway anecdotes at trade conferences — about how online newsrooms are organized. What, exactly, does a “producer” do? How do different skills and structures affect the product?

So, first, let me tell you a bit more about how we conducted the survey.

(more…)