Monday, May 19, 2008

New TWT Web site


My old buddy David Eldridge is in charge of the "communities" aspect of the project. What's interesting in the video is when David says the new site will offer the opportunity to "make connections with the editors and reporters of The Washington Times."

About freaking time. I spent more than 10 years at the paper, including five years as Culture page editor, and my e-mail address never appeared on the Web site. As a matter of fact, readers couldn't even get to the Culture page from the front of the Web site. There was no link; you had to go to a special pull-down menu to find it.

No matter how many times I complained about that kind of stuff, nothing ever changed. Here I was, producing Page Two of the newspaper -- a page I tried to reconceive as our mini-alternative to the WaPo's Style front -- and it might as well not have existed as far as Web readers were concerned. Being ignored and taken for granted, an afterthought in the workplace, is an enormously frustrating experience.

Maybe the new editor, John Solomon, actually listens to employees. That would be the biggest revolution in journalism since Gutenberg. Newspaper editors are generally dictatorial, kind of a cross between Douglas MacArthur and Woody Hayes, or perhaps more like the master of a Roman galley crew: "The floggings will increase until morale improves."

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