"Scripps Fellows" program to strengthen local news coverage on multiple platforms
Wed, September 29, 2010 by Tim King
Leveraging its strength and reputation in an effort to define the future of journalism, The E.W. Scripps Company is shifting resources within its newspaper division to add multimedia journalists, editors and web developers in the company's 13 newspaper markets.
Through the new Scripps Fellows program, as many as 40 people will be hired for full-time positions that will last either six or 12 months. Recent college graduates or other individuals with relevant journalism or Web experience can apply for the positions. Scripps will hire promising talent in the fields of:
- ̶ multimedia reporting,
- ̶ online production,
- ̶ Web development,
- ̶ Web design,
- ̶ user-experience analysis,
- ̶ copy editing, and
- ̶ page design
The fellows will be hired in October and November and will contribute to the community-changing journalism of Scripps newspapers, which include: The Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel; Naples (Fla.) Daily News; the Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers in the Florida markets of Stuart, Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce; Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press and The (Henderson, Ky.) Gleaner; The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn.; Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times; Ventura County (Calif.) Star; Wichita Falls (Texas) Times Record News; Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News; San Angelo (Texas) Standard Times; Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight; Kitsap (Wash.) Sun; and the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail.
"The Scripps Fellows program will bring fresh talent to Scripps communities across the country," said Chris Doyle, vice president of content for the company's newspaper division. "The fellows will tackle pivotal responsibilities on the front lines of editorial coverage, strengthening our ability to produce impactful storytelling for our growing audience of print and online readers. They will benefit from our newsrooms' focus on editorial excellence, and our permanent employees will benefit from the new perspectives of the visiting fellows."
Prospective fellows can learn more and apply for the program by friending "Scripps News Online" through Facebook.
Racing toward the future of news
The launch of the Scripps Fellows program corresponds with continued implementation of Scripps 3.0, a project launched last year that reorganizes the newspaper division vertically by function and centralizes many functions that are not market-specific. Scripps 3.0 increases the emphasis of local management on market-leading news content.
Since assuming responsibility for the content of Scripps newspapers four months ago, Doyle has worked with the company's editors, Web site administrators and corporate interactive managers to reformulate the division's content strategy. Their initial discussions led to The Future of News, a series produced by the Scripps Howard News Service and journalists from all Scripps newspapers about the business-model challenges faced by companies that create original, credible news content. (More information and open online discussions about the project can be found by searching "future of news" at Facebook.)
The Future of News project prompted the newspaper division's leaders to pursue new content strategies, with more than a dozen internal committees meeting regularly to cover topics ranging from quality improvement to social and mobile initiatives.
With so many resources dedicated to charting the long-term course for Scripps newspapers, the Scripps Fellows will help with the papers' short-term needs.
"We're positioned to be one of the most-innovative voices in the evolution of the newspaper industry," said Doyle. "Because of the introspection we went through during the summer, we know we must be bold and entrepreneurial to be leaders in the next season of local media - and these initiatives prove that. Launching the Scripps Fellows program to bring in some of the country's best young talent for the short term means our communities will continue to enjoy meaningful news coverage from a trusted source while some of our experienced journalists and newspaper managers tackle big-picture structural changes that are crucial for our future."
Mark Contreras, senior vice president of newspapers for Scripps, agreed. "We're taking active steps to strengthen our current resources while bringing to our communities the benefit of the industry's brightest new-media minds. Scripps is committed to staying focused on long-term strategies that make us increasingly valuable to our expanding audiences. I'm confident that this investment in talent will benefit our company and our communities many years from now."
The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse, 131-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information Web sites, and features syndication. For a full listing of Scripps media companies and their associated Web sites, visit http://www.scripps.com/.