LAT Publisher David Hiller is offering some clues on the paper's move towards a more expanded Web presence. In a memo sent out to employees this weekend, he mentions the importance of posting breaking news online, "freshened all the time," while using the print edition to "engage a different focus of unique story-telling, analysis and context." (The newspaper of the future was the subject of Tim Rutten's column on Saturday.) From the Hiller memo:
It is very clear to me this is the way we need to go, and is the way pointed forward by all of our research and the work coming out our Spring Street project, about which you will be hearing more. Fundamental change like this will take the resources and focus of our entire company.
This is what the WSJ has embarked on with its redesigned print edition complementing WSJ.com, which now posts more spot news as it happens. As noted by LABO last Wednesday, other major papers are doing a better job at differentiating their print and Web offerings, including the Washington Post, NYT and Chicago Tribune. That's right, the Trib. LAO contributor Bill Boyarsky writes about what he calls the "Chicago model" in which stories - especially local ones - are updated regularly. That could be anything from commuter train derailments to cockfighting rings broken up. But it's not just straight news - it's blogs, multimedia presentations, data-retrieval services, etc. Hiller had been president of Tribune's interactive division a while back, so he comes with some experience in the online newspaper world.
Of course, there's no telling how much of this Spring Street stuff will be realized because there's no telling who the owner of the LAT might be in six months. Still, change does appear in sight. Memo on jump: