The Washington Post & washingtonpost.com
There was a lot of Web chatter last week about the difference of opinion between the newspaper and the Web site regarding the name and labeling of Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing column. Between the more than 1,800 comments in this blog and the hundreds of blog entries elsewhere -- including an especially comprehensive one by Jay Rosen at PressThink -- pretty much everything seems to have been said about that issue.
As I mentioned in Jay's piece, my biggest concern all along has been that highlighting this issue -- one that has been openly discussed by John Harris and me for some time -- would create a perception that The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com are not working closely together on a daily basis. We are. Here's how:
-- Each day, the newspaper's continuous news desk -- a team of reporters and editors who serve as a paper's liaison for washingtonpost.com -- helps coordinate the posting of between 15 and 20 Post-authored breaking news articles to allow us to keep the site updated on a 24/7 basis with Washington Post-quality journalism. Examples are here, here and here.
-- Our news desk and the continuous news desk talk via phone more than 50 times per day, and the paper and the site hold four daily conference calls to debate story play and discuss what stories we need to be planning for. The section editors at the newspaper and the site talk throughout the day and meet in person frequently. We have a full-time staffer who sits in the Post newsroom to help us coordinate major projects with the newspaper, and also helps resolve operational issues that arise on a daily basis.
-- Each week, Post staffers serve as guests for 30-35 hourly live discussions. These guests include Michael Wilbon, Gene Weingarten, Carolyn Hax, Dana Priest, Howard Kurtz, Lisa de Moraes and Tom Sietsema.
-- We also have the Post Politics Hour, where a member of The Post's political unit answers questions each weekday at 11am ET, and Ask The Post, where readers can pose questions to senior editors at the newspaper.
-- In October, washingtonpost.com staffer Chris Cillizza kicked off The Fix, our daily political blog. To make sure he had the best possible access to The Post's political staff, we positioned Chris in The Post newsroom, a decision that has undoubtedly contributed to the success of that blog.
-- Post staffers Howard Kurtz, Mark Maske, Jay Mathews and Jabari Asim write online-only columns for washingtonpost.com. Others, such as Sally Squires and Michelle Singletary, write e-mail newsletters for us.
-- Post staff writer Joel Achenbach blogs for us at Achenblog
-- The Fairfax County bureau has its own blog, and the Fairfax Extra section that runs in the newspaper on Thursdays features highlights from the blog.
-- Post metro reporter Michael Shear maintained a blog chronicling the Virginia gubernatorial race called Race to Richmond, and with that race now over, Michael has transitioned to a new blog, The Richmond Report.
-- Post staff writer Fred Barbash -- who once covered the Supreme Court -- is exhaustively maintaining our Campaign for the Court blog.
-- The Web site has recently begun to outfit Post reporters with video equipment to allow them to enhance their articles with multimedia. You can see an example of this in Post reporter Kevin Sullivan's recent filing from Ireland.
-- Thanks to the teamwork of post.com's Adrian Holovaty and The Post's Derek Willis, we recently put our Congressional Votes Database online. The data has been used by the newspaper for years as an internal resource, and both sides agreed this was something worth putting online.
-- We frequently work with Post staff photographers to build galleries that combine photos that ran in the paper with other high-quality photos that did not make it because of space constraints.
-- Washingtonpost.com video journalist Travis Fox has partnered with Style reporter Phil Kennicott on more than a half-dozen documentary video pieces from around the globe. Here's their most recent work, a feature on the democratic movement in Azerbaijan.
-- In addition to these features, there are daily successes, such as the Yemen series that ran in this past weekend's newspaper, and the Afghanistan rebuilding package that recently came out of The Post's investigative unit.
We're proud of what we've accomplished together in 2005, and grateful that the partnership with the web extends to just about every corner of the Post newsroom. But there's still a lot to do. In January, we're planning to launch new blogs featuring reporters from Metro, Style and Business, and we'll be launching an initiative with the newspaper's Young Journalists Development Program. Additionally, we're hoping to launch some reporter-specific podcasts and dozens of other new features in early 2006.
There's more I could discuss here, but I hope the point is made: washingtonpost.com could never be what it is today without the partnership we have with The Washington Post. One difference of opinion should not be viewed as a threat to that.
Executive Editor, washingtonpost.com
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