More on the Pioneer Press redesign

It’s day two. How are you holding up?

Ben Ramsden is one of the people who helped redesign the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper. He has a blog and talks about it.

This slice of workplace life is illuminating:

The only time we knew we were on the right track was when Media News Group chair Dean Singleton visited the Pioneer Press and loved the direction we were going.

Here’s how today’s version looks.

I’m still trying to figure out the “online time stamp” thing. Today’s says “online at 4:26 p.m.” Intriguing.

Meanwhile, local media analyst David Brauer notes that the “the web tail is clearly wagging the print dog.” (I admit to muttering “it’s about time” when I read that but perhaps it’s worth more thought.)

For another look at life inside life’s intrusions, Lost Remote’s Liz Foreman compares her TV station job to her newspaper job. It turns out some people are actually leaving TV to go work at newspapers. Who knew?

  • Having not seen the redesign in person, I don’t want to judge too much. However, it looks like a fairly contemporary update that should serve them well.

    The “online @ nnnnn” thing though, that’s funny. Why do I care when this story went on the internet? It’s basically telling me how old my copy of the paper is. Not sure that’s something you want to remind people… “Hey, you can get this online for free, and more current!”

  • Bob Collins

    I’m thinking we should start a pool for when that feature disappears.

  • Bob, when I wrote the tail-dog, I don’t think (in hindsight) I meant it as a criticism. It’s smart of the paper to highlight – after all, the person reading is a proven print reader, so why not get the double dip? – though obsequious gestures like the “online @” clank as bad as Hillary Clinton talking about Obama’s Xeroxes.

    There are probably better ways to link the two arenas, but that’s something that’s worth more thought, for me at least.

  • Bob Collins

    Not to worry; I didn’t read it as a rip on the PP. I think it’s great, frankly, that the core media companies are emphasizing their Web offerings. In most cases, I have observed, it’s lip service.

    Historically, media companies have treated their Web sites as archive sites for whatever the core media is.

    That, of course, is changing and we’re just now getting to the point where newsroom resources that went to the core medium are trickling — and I use that word intentionally — to the new media side.

    And there clearly are core medium managers who think supporting the Web site means printing or saying the URL.

    My guess is THAT’S what this … thing is (I left a comment for Ben on his blog to ask, though).

    Ideally, what I think you’d like to have in that space is actually is a Web site mention for something that moves the story PAST where it is at the time of the paper’s publication. But that’s where the talk has to stop and the walk has to begin and that’s always been the hardest transition for already strapped newsrooms to make.

    The Star Tribune approached this years ago in a pretty thoughtful manner: they hired people for the skills the newsroom lacked. So they brought in TV and radio (and Web) people.

    It’s also would be interesting to survey how major news organizations approach this Web vs. core management issue.

    The BBC, for example, has one guy who’s in charge of all the various editorial facets. This is the approach from famed (at least to me) online guru Rob Curley. When he was in Lawrence Kansas, he — a Web guy — was in charge of the newspaper and TV stations. Unheard of, but likely the model for the future.

    He’s now at the Washington Post.