How digitisation has changed news organisations in a multiplatform world.

In 2007 I published ‘A Model for the 21st Century Newsroom’, a series of models exploring how journalism might be organised to best play to the strengths of the world that we were now operating in. The physical limitations of traditional newsgathering, production and distribution were now being overcome by digital equivalents. The production line model that had dictated news production for a century was meeting a networked mode of operation where anyone could take on editorial and distribution roles.

There were, it seemed, countless opportunities to do journalism in a different way – but very little time, or resources, to find out which ones were most effective. There was a danger that instead of using these opportunities to tackle journalism’s problems, established news organisations would instead tack them onto existing production processes – and be overtaken by online-only start-ups in the process.

The 21st Century Newsroom, and its accompanying diagram the News Diamond, was adopted and adapted by a number of news organisations in the UK and around the world. Meanwhile, technology, user behaviour, newsroom culture and the commercial context continued to change.

Thanks to the support of the BBC College of Journalism, this report revisits the Model for the 21st Century Newsroom in the light of those developments and the growing experiences of those organisations and individuals dealing with them. What emerges is a picture both of increasing formalisation of production processes and the emergence of entirely new fields of operation. From the rise of the liveblog and explainer, to the future of database-driven apps and increasingly organised content, the picture continues to change in surprising ways.

by Paul Bradshaw