Chandler Clay (TBD.com)
The first two months I have spent interning at TBD have been far more rewarding than I ever could have imagined, but it has been difficult witnessing the complete transformation of an innovative news website to a business that has taken two steps back.
The real challenge has been watching the people I have worked most closely with pack up their desks and disappear from the newsroom. This is the first time in my life that I have had to witness a rather large-scale firing, and it has been very eye opening. It has made me wary of the field of journalism but has also inspired me to do it better. In this case, I think it was a matter of management, and I hope that, should I ever end up on the business management side of any company, I will be very aware of how my decisions affect other people, since I think the best businesses have a lot of transparency and good communication between management and reporters.
I have also learned that the future of journalism will require a collaboration of web, print, and broadcast reporters, rather than a divide. I think that a lack of collaboration, in the end, was what made the website fall short of its expectations. There was an unwillingness of broadcast and print reporters to work together to make the best multimedia website possible. It was a true battle of old school versus new school in the newsroom, which is really apparent by the age of reporters at the website versus the tv station. It’s unfortunate to see that even professionals struggle to overcome this divide, and I know that, should I ever manage a newsroom, I will not allow that divide to persist.
I look forward to seeing what happens after all of this, since I see the site getting worse, not better, the longer I stay there. I do not think TBD will sustain on aggregation alone, so it will either soon cease to exist, or another change must be made.