Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

We're Playing, with a Purpose

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

We're Playing, with a Purpose

Article excerpt

Jennifer Borresen, one of our talented editors, believes the Buccaneers need more room in their Super Bowl trophy case.

Bucs quarterbacks arrive and eventually get sacked, but optimism rarely wanes in the Borresen clan.

It's not surprising she's a Bucs fan. Jennifer is much like their Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, astutely aware of the surroundings and capable of hitting hard when it matters.

She heard the executive editor's chatter about innovating like a startup.

But chatter is cheap.

How, she wondered, are we going to make it happen?

She looked around the field -- well, our window-laden newsroom -- and found our innovation end zone.


Problem sacked!

Mindset changed!

It's called The SandBox. But it requires some imagination.

It's not a real sandbox. It lacks, well, sand.

It does have a Twitter account (@PlayInSand).

(The SandBox also is a new blog that will look at local innovation. For now, we've populated innovation with videos and content that explains why the Associated Press Media Editors named us a 2014 Innovator of the Year Finalist. Local innovation wonks should bookmark the site since we'll start to highlight best practices happening in media and our community.)

The real SandBox at the Herald-Tribune features a chair, small couch and glass table arranged as if you were in the world's smallest waiting room. All that's lacking is the clipboard with a 99- cent pen attached to a chain.

The furniture style is vintage modern, meaning you could find it in the clearance section at IKEA.

Photocopied photos and news pages hang on a Dilbertesque wall that separates nearby work stations. One of the photos is a black- and-white image of business reporter Michael Pollick from the lava lamp era.

Typical startup, we're not.

The area to stretch our innovation legs doesn't have leg room.

No pool tables, no scooters, no espresso machines.

Tony Elkins Jr., our assistant managing editor for innovation and engagement, is the only one who scribbles ideas on glass walls. …

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