A story ladder selects news for print and Web

At the Phoenix Business Journal, editor Ilana Lowery is developing a story ladder that enables her to track what reporters are doing at their 20 minute daily morning meetings. Here, she and her team figure out what stories need basic coverage and what get more in-depth treatment as the day progresses. The story ladder helps the team stay focused on their core business, the print version of the weekly.

The Phoenix Business Journal, like many other newspapers in the country are trying to figure out how to balance their print edition with an online presence. “We do not know what’s out there and are trying to figure out the newsroom of the future,” editor Ilana Lowery said at a PRSA meeting last week. Trying to develop as they go along, the Journal is working on creating an online news aggregator for its 17,000 users who receive email blasts. This is, besides a print subscription of 17,000.

At a meeting trying to find out how to pitch a news story to a Business Journal reporter, they said not to make a direct pitch using social media tools like Twitter.Email is the best way to contact them and they said afce to face contact helps a lot. Online might be a good way to contact them for a quick, breaking news story as days of sitting on a story are dead. The Phoenix Business Journal reaches a very targeted audience and is a business to business publication. Stories that get greater play online include data driven stories, quirky stories and those with news value, immigration, for example in the Phoenix market.

Before I left the meeting, I asked journalist Adam Kress how he handles information overload on a daily basis. He replied: “I try to shut it off and call it a day after some time. Otherwise, it goes beyond control.”

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