NYT Reader Requests Newsroom Blog

During a “Talk to the Newsroom” chat at nytimes.com with Sewell Chan, bureau chief for the City Room blog, a reader asks:

Q. Has The Times ever considered blogging about what’s actually taking place in the newsroom, which might include editors assigning stories to staff members, if the reporter or photographer are stuck in traffic trying to get to the crime scene, a summary of spirited debates that took place in the editors news meetings, and if the copy desk or reporter is struggling meeting a fast approaching deadline?

Such a blog, might give readers a greater appreciation of the many hoops a daily newspaper typically goes through before a story is posted online or published in the morning newspaper.

Chan’s answer:

A. Interesting suggestions! You get to the heart of a key challenge in working on a breaking-news blog: Balancing speed with accuracy. I am grateful for your appreciation of the challenges, logistical and otherwise, that reporters face in gathering the news. The voice and tone of City Room are often more informal than those of traditional news articles. That allows us to note that we have sent a reporter to a scene and hope to have more details soon, or to mention that we are still waiting for someone to call back with more information, or to ask readers to send in information, photos and video…

Increasingly, we are more transparent about the journalistic process of City Room. Take the use of social media, like Facebook and Twitter…

With all that said, we haven’t really written in detail about our internal news deliberations or our daily struggles to meet deadline. Perhaps we’re wrong, but we don’t feel readers have a lot of patience for too much inside baseball or musings about how hard our jobs are!

Would readers have “a lot of patience” for such “musings”? Maybe not. But a lot of comments? I’m guessing, yes.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.