Part III
Restructuring the Newsroom
and the News Industry

Part III examines the organizational or structural implications of new media. The traditional newsroom is organized along the lines almost of a military unit, with a strong publisher, editor, or news director overseeing a relatively rigid hierarchical organization. Decisions follow a strong chain of command. Online newsrooms tend to be increasingly decentralized and flexible, especially those that are original to the Internet, and they reflect a more experimental and adaptable entrepreneurial culture. Staffs are much more likely to include legions of freelance contributors. Although this gives the online newsroom an adaptable design, it also makes it more difficult to instill and maintain a strong newsroom culture of traditional news values. The boundary between advertising and editorial sometimes blurs.

The entire news industry is also evolving. Competition attacks from many corners, and news providers are not just the traditional newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters. Rather, the World Wide Web furnishes a low-cost global forum for anyone with a message, especially corporate, not-for-profit, and government enterprises, whose voices formerly filtered through a news media gatekeeper. Among the most powerful are the portals Yahoo!, AOL, and others who publish syndicated news content from Reuters, the Associated Press, and a host of other organizations. Breaking news has become a commodity, and the news consumer can't tell the difference between one provider and another. But what happens to the value added by traditional

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