Archive for the ‘Newsroom’ Category

Today is the first day that we follow our daily production routine, which includes two news conferences a day, story and multimedia production, the taking of pictures, allocation of copy and the production of pages. Basically, everything but printing the paper. Once we enter this daily cycle, our focus will shift permanently from thinking to acting. The challenge is a stark one: We must beat the the months of expectation about what The Times will be. We will have just over two weeks to iron out all the last wrinkles. We have been joined for this phase by the phenomenal Peter Atkinson who consults for the Daily Mirror*. He will be with us right through the launch and it is very reassuring to have the presence of one of Fleet Street’s greatest on our floor. Today we will meet not as the band of bright-eyed idealists that started out on this journey months ago, but as a group of mission-focused journalists doing what we do best – writing stories, taking pictures and making movies.

As Marcello Rios of Zero Hora put it: “The first duty of a story is to be read”. There you have it.

*No, that does not mean that The Times is going to be a red-top like the Mirror or the Sun.


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1.       WOMEN

We have a 52% women readership. Do we provide the kind of content that they would want to consume. Enough of it? Presented in the right way? Do they need special content?

2.       CHILDREN

A major content demand was for educational material for the kids – ranked 3 after Breaking News and Business as a priority. Do we have any? What can we do?


Do we know how/when we will be getting external content eg the jobs supplement and Stuff supplement into the paper? How will it be sent? To us or directly to print site? When will it be sent so as not to delay printing?


Have we developed the kinds of picture spaces so that we can take advantage of our photographic team’s talents? Are we visual enough?

5.       SKILLS

Do we have a sufficient base of skills to execute. How are we going to use the last few weeks to plug the gaps and bring those who have fallen behind up to speed?


Are we geared up to do justice to our front page puffery, to the graphics, cut outs, results snapshots and web crossrefs? Are they exciting enough?


Are managers geared up to deal with their responsibilities for regular features? Is everyone familiar with baskets and naming conventions?

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I can finally introduce to you our editorial team:

Me = Editor

Moses Mudzwiti = Deputy Editor

Marvin Meintjies = News Editor

Carly Ritz = Multimedia Editor

Robin Comley = Pictures Editor

Archie Henderson = Sports Editor

Aspasia Karras = Features Editor

Xolani Xundu = Politics Editor

Colin Daniels = Internet Strategy Manager

Tidi Benbenisti = Diary Manager

Jackie May = Foreign/Syndication Editor

John Tsatsi = Design Editor

Bridget Pringle = AM Chief Sub

Guy Jepson = Acting Chief Sub

Gregor Rohrig = Dep Multimedia Editor

Shelley Christians = Dep Pics Editor

Liesl Venter = Dep News Editor

Robert Laing = Group Business Editor will help out with the Business Pages

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photogs, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

Why are photographers camera shy? Are they like big punching boxers that have glass jaws? (Robin and Shelley are running The Times pictures desk)

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