Archives for posts with tag: seating arrangements

Hi, all. If you’ve been in the newsroom today you probably noticed we moved desks and computers arund today. If you haven’t, stop in and tell me what you think. A few things to note:

1. We may add some more computers to the print area. I think we were shooting for 8, but I think I included the computer we use for marrying pages in that count by mistake. The imaging process may make a difference on this; scroll down for more.

2. I’ll probably move a few computers around tomorrow so we can have as many as possible of the larger iMacs at the hub desk.

3. For images, I’m building basically three:

  • Newsroom: has browsers, Office, Cyberduck, various codecs and players, MPEG Streamclip, VLC, Handbrake, and CS5.
  • Photo: Newsroom + Photo Mechanic + Photoshop custom actions
  • Print: Newsroom but with CS2 instead of CS5, and PlanSystem.

That obviously limits the number of print stations we can use. (I’d rather have CS5 all the way across, but our publishing company’s software is not compatible with the type of PDF that CS5 generates.)

4. The cables run across the floor are temporary in some cases (those near the print pod) and permanent in others (those near the hub desk and ICE desk). We will create more permanent trip strips there so they don’t stay taped down.

5. We should be done with images by the end of the day tomorrow, and will use next week to test them and then image computers.

Any questions, let me know. It’s been a long day and I feel like I’m forgetting something, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Hi, all. A quick update on the moving schedule for the newsroom:

1. This morning, Robyn and I moved the graphics computers out of the graphics lab, and the multimedia computers into the multimedia (nee graphics) lab. There’s one more multimedia computer coming back from TigerTech. We also moved the assorted equipment we found in the graphics pod back there (hard drives, etc)

2. Moving the sandwich counter/convergence space is going to take a bit longer than I originally thought, because of the Modbook and assorted equipment attached to that. Derrick Fogle from ASC is coming over later this afternoon to go over what that entails.

3. We’re going to move print computers into the print area starting early Thursday. Should be done in a couple hours.

4. I also put in a request to Telecom for the cabling we need to be able to run the print pod of computers. Until then, we’ll need to run cable across the floor.

5. Once the sandwich counter is moved (Thursday) we can start creating “The Hub.”

6. More TK

We’re making plans to roll with this one.

The conversation about the print bubble has been fascinating, and there are a bunch of potential threads worth continuing.

So continue we will.

What we won’t do is act on anything yet. A critical stakeholder, incoming assistant professor and director of photography Brian Kratzer, needs time to: a.) actually arrive and b.) get a lay of the land.

So no bubbling for now.

We can still try on a few changes for the start of fall semester and see how they fit.

We can give the print production a home of its own, and create a “hub desk,” without too much disruption. We’ll put print in the north end (windows!), and create the hub desk in the middle of the newsroom.

I’ll ask Nick to put up another of his Very Technical And Illuminating sketches. Stay tuned.

So, now I know what it takes to spark a conversation on here. ;-)

To add some fuel to that fire, here’s a thought about who could go where in the newsroom. I apologize for the crude sketch. Click on it to see it larger.

A sketch of a potential Missourian floor plan

To interpret:

  • ICE is “interactive copy editors.”
  • “The Hub” is what Jake alluded to in one of his comments on the previous post. We’d like to bring newsroom decision makers together on one island, at the center of the room. The assistant city editors and the interactive news editors would be here for certain. We’d like to consider having the assistant director of photography and the day’s general assignment editor here, too.
  • We’d give over the northwest corner of the newsroom to photo, convergence and, potentially, graphics. That could create the visuals pod that some of you were alluding to in your comments.
  • Ideally, we’d kill the convergence counter, which seems to serve no discernible purpose, except to hold up the budget computer. What goes in that space? What if we pulled in some couches and low tables, and created a casual meeting space adjacent to the HUB — a place where staff can gravitate toward the leadership group and have discussions about what we’re working on?

Got a crude sketch of your own? Want to mark up mine? Send ‘em my way.

We’re earnestly trying to give shape to our experiment for the coming semester. Jake Sherlock is the instructor for Journalism 4500, News Design, and is making plans to be the designated print editor for fall. We’re working on figuring out how big a team he’ll need to augment the students enrolled in 4500 — TAs, copy editors, etc.

We’re also considering what location in the room we’ll give this print team, taking into account the idea that we want to try isolating this team from the main web production group. Jake has proposed that the print team take over the “photo bubble,” the room the photo editors and photographers use now in the middle of the larger newsroom. It’s a central location — which could facilitate the print team’s mandate to “work the room” and figure out who’s got what that they can work with — but given the walls and doors, it can also be isolated. There wouldn’t be a natural tendency for this team to blend into our web production staff.

A possible side benefit would be moving photo staff into the newsroom proper, where perhaps we could increase their interaction with web production staff, reporters and editors.

How does this strike folks?

Should we move the production teams to a different spot in the newsroom?

It seems logical that, if the new interactive copy editors are the digital hub of the newsroom, that they should be centrally located in the room, rather than in the corner. It also seems logical that, if the new interactive copy editors are also the voices of the newsroom most interacting with our online public that they might also be the people nearest the entrance to the newsroom, ready to interact with the real live public when it visits.

And how segregated within this room — if at all — does the new print team need to be to reinforce our plan to deal with print in isolation?

And how much does it matter? Especially in a newsroom where almost no one has permanent claim on any given desk?