Transforming local newsrooms for the digital age
While Vice President/Content of the newspaper division of The E.W. Scripps Company, Mizell led a team that conceived and executed the Four Platform Newsroom project. The effort leveraged consumer research and digital skills development to help journalists provide unique and exclusive local journalism on smartphone, tablet, web and print platforms.
The initiative was the result of a unique partnership with the Knight Digital Media Center, housed at the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California. An important part of the 4P initiative was the development of “franchise topics,” areas of robust coverage and expertise that set the individual newsroom apart from the competition. The strategy continued when the Scripps newspaper division was combined with the publishing assets of Journal Communications to create Journal Media Group in 2015.
The Four Platform Newsroom was the topic of “Digital Leads: 10 Keys to Newsroom Transformation,” a joint report from Journal Media Group and KDMC. The full report is available for download here.
Improving the effectiveness of remote operations
A major newspaper company consolidated its copy editing and page design operations, but unresolved conflicts between local newsrooms and the central editing desk were having a negative effect on content quality and staff morale.
Mizell led an independent team that interviewed top managers, surveyed employees and researched best practices both within and outside of the news industry. The team’s recommendations included the application of proven project management techniques that improved communication, collaboration and efficiency.
Strategic plan update for membership organization
Mizell worked with the staff and executive committee to update the strategic plan of a major news industry organization. The effort included a fiscal analysis, an environmental scan and detailed interviews with current, former and prospective members. The data collection phase was followed by a daylong retreat to help the organization’s leaders set priorities. The result is a renewed focus on creating value for members to strengthen both the organization’s influence in the industry and its financial position.