September 27, 2004

Freeing the Prisoners of the Newsroom

This is my column for Tomorrow's Workforce. It looks at one program that is trying to reduce the deficit of newsroom staff development by bringing training "within driving distance of every editor in the country.”

Here's the beginning:

If some day you happen to be talking on the phone with both Carol Nunnelley and Lil Swanson, and perhaps are discussing their latest project, NewsTrain, do not be concerned about telling their voices apart.

Nunnelley’s words arrive one at a time, slowed to such an orderly cadence by the weight of her Alabama diction. They don’t fall on the ear so much as they brush by it. Swanson, by contrast, declares herself holder of a Philadelphia accent (Is there one? I ask. “It’s in your face,” she says.) She packages her thoughts in complete paragraphs, delivered so articulately and grammatically that no matter how hard I listen for remnants of Rocky in her voice, I hear more Main Line than South Philly.

Geographic inflections aside, when Nunnelley and Swanson speak about NewsTrain and the need to rescue “front-line editors, middle managers, the people who are usually prisoners of the newsroom,” they speak in unison.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Tim Porter at September 27, 2004 10:21 AM