Narisetti: Washington Post Newsroom Will Shrink

Managing Editor Said Journalists Need To Develop Social Media Skills

By Azhar Al Fadl Miranda and Brandon Benavides

Raju Narisetti, Managing Editor at The Washington Post

Raju Narisetti, Managing Editor of The Washington Post, has helped make the paper a leader in online news. In one of his last meetings speaking on behalf of the Post, he talked about some of the changes , good and bad, that the digital era has brought to his newsroom.

Narisetti said the Post will likely eliminate about 100 positions in the next two years. He made the candid assessment during a discussion with members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Washington, D.C. Chapter on January 11. The cuts do not necessarily mean layoffs and could come from buyouts like ones the Post has done in the past. This sort of projection, he explained, can be made if one considers the changing nature of the news industry. Much like other papers, The Post’s readers are finding different ways to engage with the news, particularly as they consume more online content.

Despite the downsizing Narisetti said, “You’ll be surprised to hear this, but there has never been a better time to be a journalist.” Journalists have the chance to share their work using new digital tools with more people than ever before. Under Narisetti, The Post found success in attracting readers to its online content.“We ended 2011 with the biggest audience and the most loyal audience,” he said, regarding users on the Post’s website. He explained that the web has presented many opportunities to give readers more tailored content. “The audience is giving us a lot more cues than they did for us in print,” he said. One example is the Post’s most recent project, the Social Reader, a Facebook app that allows people to share the stories they read with friends. The app has attracted roughly 8.2 million users and according to Narisetti, it has drawn in younger readers to the paper.

When questioned about newsroom diversity, Narisetti agreed more can be done to achieve greater diversity and said the Post is continuously trying to improve diversity.

“At the Washington Post, the minority staff make up 24% of our entire staff, higher than American Society of Newspaper Editor standards,” he said. But minorities in the Washington area are double that percentage—nearly 46%, he said.

A week after meeting with NAHJ members, Narisetti announced he is leaving The Washington Post and returning to the Wall Street Journal, where he previously worked for 13 years. Starting February, he will lead the Journal’s digital content.

(Photos Courtesy Evelio Contreras.)
NAHJDCNAHJDC The @NAHJDC meeting at the @washingtonpost with @rajunarisetti has started!
NAHJDCNAHJDC @Rajunarisetti we try to have staff as diverse as our readership
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti at the Wash post, the minority staff is 24% of our total staff, high by ASNE standards
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “46% of our readership is non-white” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “this has been a record year, more people have read the @washingtonpost than years before” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti the real challenge (for @washingtonpost )this year & beyond is to marry content and technology to create amazing experiences
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “twitter and facebook have become fairly essential tools for journalism.” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC CORRECTION: @rajunarisetti “at the @Washpost, the minority staff is 24% of our total staff when i checked recently, high by ASNE standards”
NAHJDCNAHJD C@rajunarisetti “we ended 2011 with the biggest audience and the most loyal audience, all the measures” re:transitioning to web content #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “we probably have 8.2 million subscribers to the Social Reader. it’s been a huge success” #nahj @washingtonpost
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti re:The Social Reader–“we’ve attracted a lot more young readership than the Post.” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti the ppl weve hired show interest in using diff platforms,envision how things will play out/ have a conversation w/a developer
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “a lot of young people have taken on bigger role irrespective of the hierarchy, it’s the nice thing about this digital era”
NAHJDCNAHJDC @Rajunarisetti re: newspapers transition to web content”the audience is giving us a lot more cues than they did for us in print” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti re: reporters who tweet “do everything that’s right for your reader, do nothing that’s wrong for your brand”
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti“the model of journalism is broken, not the readers.people are still coming to read.” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti re:Tweeting “you should always sacrifice speed for accuracy” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @rajunarisetti “there’s never been a better time to be a journalist–so many more readers.” #nahj
NAHJDCNAHJDC @washingtonpost meeting with NAHJDC is done!

YouTube video from jorgeromero51

Let’s Go to UNITY in Las Vegas! / ¡Vamos a UNITY en Las Vegas!
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists Washington, D.C. Chapter is preparing to go to Las Vegas for the largest gathering of minority journalists in four years.  For the first time, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association will officially participate as an alliance member.  Members from NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA, and NLGJA will gather for UNITY 2012 at The Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas August 1-4, 2012.

NAHJ DC will raffle off one early-bird registration, valued at $325. Raffle tickets are $25. We will begin selling raffle tickets at our January membership meeting (that will soon be announced). The raffle will happen at our February membership meeting (that will also be announced at a later date). The money will go to the NAHJ DC Chapter fund.

NAHJ DC is also offering to pay early-bird registration for one professional member (valued at $325) and one student member (valued at $150).  Applicants must be a paid NAHJ member in the Washington area.

Send a resume and write a one paper letter on what you hope to learn at the convention.  Also describe your financial situation. Email your materials to The deadline to apply is the close of business Wednesday, February 29. The NAHJ DC Chapter Board Members will select the winners that weekend. Note: Those selected are expected to attend. If the selected members cannot attend, we request that the member(s) notify us as soon as possible so we can fill the vacancy. We do not want to pay for the convention registration fee and have a no-show.

La Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos (NAHJ) de Washington, D.C. se prepara para esta convención que reúne a cientos de periodistas. Por primera vez, la Asociación de Periodistas Gay y Lesbianas participará como miembro de la alianza. Como cada cuatro años, miembros de NAHJ y otras asociaciones de periodistas se unen para realizar este evento. Esta vez se llevará a cabo en Las Vegas, en el Centro de Convenciones Mandalay Bay, del 1 al 4 de agosto, del 2012.

NAHJ DC rifará el costo de inscripción, con un valor de $325 dólares, entre sus miembros. Los boletos para participar en la rifa cuestan $25 dólares. La venta de boletos comenzará en enero, durante nuestra primera reunión del año (la fecha se anunciará pronto). La rifa se realizará en febrero, también durante una reunión cuya fecha será anunciada en unas semanas. Los fondos recaudados beneficiarán a la membresía de NAHJ en D.C.

Además, NAHJ DC también pagará la inscripción de un miembro profesional (con un valor de $325 dólares), y otra de un miembro estudiante (con un valor de $150 dólares). Cualquier miembro de NAHJ que haya pagado su cuota de membresía anual puede presentar una solicitud para esta beca. Se necesita: mandar una copia de su currículum y un corto ensayo sobre lo que desea aprender en la convención y por qué necesita la beca. Envíe esto a La fecha límite es el 29 de febrero. Los ganadores serán elegidos ese fin de semana.

Aquellos que sean becados y no puedan asistir después deberán informarle a NAHJ DC para que se seleccione a alguien más, ya que no podemos pagar la inscripción para que la persona no vaya a última hora.

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