It looks like my old boss has seen the light and now believes that reporters should be heard and not seen.
During his tenure as editor of the Flint Journal there were tight controls on many folks making sure they were in the office, attending meetings and under the watchful eye of an editor. If you were out of sight in the office too long, editors started getting nervous. That was even when you were producing a lot. To be fair, they didn't bother me much about it, but there were other examples of folks that were kept on a pretty tight leash.
But now, as head of the new AnnArbor.com venture, the content czar has come over to the other side. I sincerely praise him for it.
In his recent post, the czar has opened the door to the new journalism with this promise:
"At AnnArbor.com, I've been assuring the community that we will have a staff of professional trained journalists, and what we're looking for are people with strong traditional reporting skills, but a willingness to use all the tools of the digital age to report the news.
We do plan to equip our journalists with a laptop, and an air card, and we're looking at supplying them with a Flip video camera as well."
If that's a Booth/Advance wide policy that will be a good thing for the new (and old) reporters working at the publications in Saginaw, Bay City and Flint, as well as other Booth cities.
It's a welcome breath of fresh air that the company is now going to supply air cards along with computers so reporters can do their jobs. When I worked there you either supplied your own Internet connection or you had to come back to the office to file a story.