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The Discipline of Organizing: Core Concepts Edition, 3rd Edition by Robert J. Glushko

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11.8. Weekly Newspaper

By Ian MacFarland, December 2013.

Overview. A weekly neighborhood newspaper in New York City now covers the entire borough of Queens. Rather than publish a single weekly edition for this highly diverse area of more than 2 million people, its owners have opted to produce 14 separate editions, each centered on a different neighborhood. All editions share a deadline, delivery schedule, and staff pool, but each has unique content tailored to its target readers.

What is being organized? The newspaper’s resources — its content — consist mainly of articles and photos generated by staff and freelance contributors throughout the week. Often, newspapers will assign their reporters to beats based on subject matter (politics, education, “cops and courts,” etc.), making them domain experts who cover stories on that beat throughout a wide geographical area. However, because of this paper’s historical orientation toward “hyper-local” neighborhood news, it has given each of its seven full-time reporters a more granular geographical beat that corresponds to two of the 14 editions’ coverage areas, within which they are responsible for general assignment reporting. Most reporters also have a specialty for covering news that is of more general interest throughout the borough, such as citywide government or transportation issues, and they will include coverage of these domains in their story budgets for the week as well. The staff maintains a centralized story list that includes ...

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