The Times website has been carrying audio reports out of the Gaza Strip from Jerusalem correspondent Ken Ellingwood. Today he's in Neve Dekalim and talks about the emotionally wrenching evacuations of Israeli settlers. There's also audio at LAT.com from Iraq. The clips are a first step toward podcasting some stories each day, including the front-page Column One—which will be offered on the theory that the feature is the right length to entertain commuters driving to work. Selected reporters have been occupied this week reading their stories in a sound booth on the edge of the newsroom, to build up a backlog before the podcast plans are announced. CBS "48 Hours" correspondent Bill Lagattuta also has recorded some stories to help the launch. The project began before Dean Baquet took over as editor of the paper, but it reflects his priority on trying to lure new readers via the web. At Baquet's direction, senior editors who gave little thought to the online paper have been serving week-long stints as guest editors of the website, which is housed on a different floor of the Times building. Even Deputy Managing Editor Leo Wolinsky, who usually runs the daily front page meetings, has rotated through the website duty. By most accounts he enjoyed it and shook up the mix of stories displayed.
Weekend update: Podcasting begins