San Francisco Chronicle is one of the oldest Newspapers of USA, working now for 148 years. It has devised a revolutionary plan to combat the decline in its circulation that was initiated during 2009-2012 by introducing digital elements into reporting.
The first woman managing editor, Audrey Cooper is pushing the reporters into a digital incubator. It is a kind of training centre consisting of beautiful office in off-site location. It is also referred to as digital media booting camp. The training period will be of two months.
The managing director explained that this step will allow the reporters to focus on issues outside the newsroom. They will be able to track the news on digital media. This step will enable the reporters to see whether their news has reached their intended target audience or not. They will be able to track the clicks made on their site from social media forums like Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn.
The newspaper located in the posh area of San Francisco amidst the district of SOMA, is suffering from severe decline in its circulation during the time period between 2009 and 2012. The owner of the newspaper is Hearst Corporation. The paper has estimated circulation that barely reaches 300,000 readers currently.
During the times of worst recession, San Francisco Chronicle was reported to be losing $50 million every year. This loss is somewhat alleviated by Yahoo that is leasing some amount of space in Chronicle building. The Hearst Corporation is arguing that the company is making sufficient ground in profits now.
The website of the Chronicle is gaining popularity among the people, but its pace is not enough to overshadow the decline in its circulation. Cooper is intending to rename its section containing business news to gain more attraction of public. She has the point of view that incubator training will allow the reporters to think in digital terms for news. Reporters will use analytics dashboard to monitor their stories read by others.
Cooper has emphasized that the training of reporters is not enable them to have more capabilities in digital age. They won’t lose their job if they don’t make up for the standard required for journalism. Cooper said that they are trying to retrain the reporters instead of unnecessarily threatening them for losing their job. She was quite sure that plan will bring fruits.
Cooper realizes that the failure would mean that the newspaper will lose its market entirely. They cannot afford to have any failure now.