Archive for April, 2007


Display at IFRA, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

Yes, it will. It will deliver news across new digital platforms. But news won’t change. News remains what you tell your mother when you walk in the kitchen door, ne?


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Stressed, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

The moment is finally arriving when I finally say goodbye to the office which I have used for the last six months or so. I have had an office for most of my fourteen years at the Sunday Times, so its going to be quite a change to sit at the hub downstairs (see previous post) where I will be sitting at an open plan desk.
The decision was a simple one: I want to build a corporate culture which embraces communication and in which managers are accessible and that means no offices.
What I will miss most is being able to crank up the volume on iTunes – I somehow think headphones are not going to be the same.
What I won’t miss is that trapped feeling you get when the doors closed and a meeting is going nowhere. In an open plan environment, distractions will be plentiful.

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Hub Build

Hub Build, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

I’m afraid its another one of those ‘office under construction’ shots, but this is the single biggest headache we have with the bulk of our staff coming on board on Wednesday. Sunday afternoon saw the skeleton of the ‘hub’ going up. Its a semi-circle of desks to house news managers (other than those for business and sport which have their own space). The empty space in the middle will be home to a semi-circular table so that the managers can turn around and hold conferences whenever they need to. The wall will be home to the behemoth 64″ plasma TV that has been temporarily sitting outside my office. The idea is that we will be able to watch multimedia and have discussions aabout the site whenever needed and without have to set up equipment or move to a meeting room.

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Holiday viewing


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Hoop Dreams

hoop, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

In the courtyard outside our soon to be newsroom stands a weatherbeaten basketball hoop, its netting suffering from the nylon equivalent of rust. It was put up when Johncom launched Sports Day, an ill-fated venture that failed to draw readers and was closed down after a couple of months. The Times model cuts out the critical barrier to entry of establishing a readership for a new title by going to 120 000 subscribers on day one. And it carries the DNA (and the branding) of the Sunday Times.

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News Pod

News Pod, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

Take note of the Web 2.0 finish … 🙂

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Oh happy day

sunny day, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

Its all being sorted. Frantic building on the newsroom continues downstairs. The desks are being put up one by one and connected to the myriad power and network point cables. The smell of glue is thick in the air. Online newsroom staff have moved into a section of the new newsroom and will have to move again once their final home is finished in the other half of the room. They are working under really difficult conditions with hammering, scraping and the rolling of trolley wheels all around. Meanwhile the multimedia equipment has been ordered, I spent a good part of the afternoon sorting out the final seating arrangments for the staff.  We are expecting our big staff intake on May 2 and by then we should have a newsroom with computers that’s ready to rock.

Staff have started to get that wid-eyed look and they are saying stuff like: ‘I can’t believe its all happening’. I’ve been trying to act cool, but I have these butterflies. This is once-in-a-lifetime stuff.

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