One of the biggest opportunities denied to most working newspaper journalists, is to develop new ways to display material on the web.
In our web training courses, we spend time drawing things to imagine how they might display on a web page.
We do it for a number of reasons; it stimulates creative thinking, sparks debate and highlights some of the gaps in expertise that will have to be filled if newspapers are to survive.
A simple example of this different way of thinking comes from The Times map display of their hotel reviews. It's not big or clever, but it works. How many newspaper journalists do you know who could take the original content from the archives, design, build and then publish them in this form? And what does it say about the skills we have in the newsroom?
I had a conversation recently with a news editor about a great bit of web content. I complimented him and his team for a great bit of work. "Nothing to do with me mate," he replied. "Our web editor got it from a local blogger." Nuff said.