Jim Hopkins has a copy of the memo. In it, Bob Dickey, President of Gannet, writes:
In every local market, we have the most and the best journalists. These new tools will help our journalists meet the demands of the new news cycle, one that requires agility in real-time reporting, social media and greater emphasis on video storytelling, further increasing our competitive advantage.
In addition, we’ll provide the devices to create a “digital workstation” at each of our local Information Centers to monitor the content experience we provide across digital channels — tablets and smart phones, in particular. This will give us a vital point of view so we can adjust our storytelling with greater precision.
Props to Gannet on this move. Newspapers need to embrace multimedia — coupled with good writing and reporting — to do well online.
That said, this is just one more step down the road to the place where reporters are being relied on for all aspect of their stories. Arming writers with iPhones is cheaper than hiring someone to shoot video.