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The overall concept is to define the editorial workflow in three key stages: the
creation, crafting and completion of content. This is the framework within whic
h our team should prepare and publish content across all channels. It describes
a simplified and flexible process which allows us to apply the appropriately wei
ghted approach to the commissioning, preparation and quality control of all cont
ent, digital or print. This will place demands on reporters, news editors and pr
oduction staff alike as we:

Move to a Web Ready workflow
Entrench integration
Make significant changes in newspaper layout, copy preparation
and editions
Roll out a training programme


The web ready workflow puts the “web view” of a story at the centre of the news
process. It means filing and editing every story in the web channel. As a story
builds, it is this web view that receives constant attention, before and after i
t is published online. The copy can at any time be linked in the newspaper chann
el to the relevant print page. This is an essential step to achieving a step-cha
nge in the richness and “stickiness” of our online offering; it is vital to the
successful roll-out of Falcon. The new workflow process would work thus:

CREATE: Reporters/writers prepare their copy in the web channel in Methode and t
ake responsibility for adding hyperlinks, company tearsheets and metadata – as w
ell as running spell/style checks; write draft headlines; where stories are link
ed to a newspaper template, check in newspaper channel for length; workflow to e
CRAFT: desks edit in the web channel, check hyperlinks, metadata etc; refine hea
dlines; (working with interactive) add pics, graphics, slideshows, videos etc; b
uild story packages/editors choices etc; manage web pages in their sector; link
stories to newspaper templates; workflow to subbing/revise as appropriate
COMPLETE: desks sub and revise content for print and online; complete story pack
ages etc; take over managing web content for London evening; complete subbing of
newspaper version; revise, proof read, publish; manage later edition changes, i
ncluding ensuring enriched web “master copies” are fully updated
In line with the shift to a web ready workflow, the newsroom needs to become mor
e firmly web-orientated. The following are the priorities:

Assist all news teams to adopt web ready approach
Adapt morning news conference
Institute early afternoon news conference
Integrate Interactive more closely across news teams
Increase the capacity and skills of news desks; spread multi-media skills


We need to adopt two approaches to refining and simplifying the newspaper produc
tion process. The first is to make a significant shift upstream in copy preparat
ion to ensure that the maximum amount possible of content is arriving at the com
pletion stage “revise ready”. The second is to take steps to simplify the multip
le edition structure of the newspaper.
Copy/page preparation: Under the create-craft-complete framework, we need to app
ly the highest levels of quality control in our preparation of content from the
earliest point in the process. This is important – as outlined above – for onlin
e content, but it is equally important for the newspaper process if we are to su
stain quality and tackle bottlenecks. The process starts with writers/reporters,
who must adopt a “right first time” approach to their copy. A central element i
s an earlier layout of the newspaper to enable significantly more copy than we c
urrently achieve to be written (where appropriate) and edited in templates at th
e create and craft stages. For news pages, we will ensure that a design/layout s
taffer is present daily at all the key news desk “huddles” where decisions are f
irst made about news lists and pages. They will then apply layouts to pages as a
ppropriate and work with news editors to make early decisions on graphics, pictu
res etc. We will work with reporting and news editing teams to establish the mos
t effective way of using the templating tool. The approach editors should adopt
is where possible to prepare copy to a point where it can be moved on directly t
o revise. We will expect features pages to be delivered revise ready. On fast-mo
ving news pages, this will not always be practical. Plenty of copy will still ne
ed to be workflowed to subbing for the production teams to sub-edit. But it is i
mportant to build up to a position where a significant amount of our news page c
ontent is also flowing through to the completion stage ready for revise.
Newspaper editions: To achieve further streamlining of the newspaper production
process (and achieve significant cost savings) we will make the following change
Replace 3rd edition with a later 2nd edition.
Reduce the number of page changes for 2nd editions We will shift 2nd editi
on page changes onto a request only basis and establish norms, monitored by the
production desk, for colour and mono replates
Simplify the 2nd front This will cut the number of bouncers in the 2nd sec

To help facilitate these changes, we are creating a number of new positions. Fou
r will be “news integrators”, helping to drive through the changes on the news d
esks. One will be attached to the main news desk, one in the UK news/World clust
er, one in the UK companies/ICN cluster and one in features (already advertised)
. We are also advertising two positions in the worldprod and finprod teams to wo
rk with the newsdesks primarily on newspaper layout and preparation.

Achieving all these goals will require a big effort to support our journalists.
We have prepared a detailed training plan, in order to provide the necessary sup
port and achieve a significant all-round improvement in our technical capabiliti
es. This training will be an integral part of the roll-out of Newsroom 2009.