Turning inner space into outer space

January 14, 2012

Digital First takes its name seriously

James Rainey has a fascinating profile of John Paton in the Los Angeles Times. Paton is the CEO of Digital First Media, a company with a no-holds-barred attitude when it comes to pushing newspapers into the digital age.

After he became chief executive of the Journal Register Co. in early 2010, John Paton made the rounds to its many newspapers in the Midwest and Northeast. The new boss told employees they would go “digital first” with a vengeance — tweeting, Facebooking, blogging and video-posting news before contributing a single keystroke toward the next day’s paper.

How do journalists feel about this? There’s good news . . .

Trentonian columnist Jeff Edelstein feels energized by the multiple ways he’s now engaging readers. “I feel like I’m working for a company that is driving down the field,” he said, “as opposed to tossing up a Hail Mary.”

. . . and bad news.

But a reporter at one Journal Register paper said on background that the new focus “puts a pretty low priority on quality.” A 32-year New Haven (Conn.) Register employee worried about “spending more time on the medium, the technology, than the content.”

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Link: News exec John Paton is out to stop the presses