It’s never easy to transition to or from a news department in the communications industry. Regardless of the direction of the transition, motives get questioned, old habits must be jettisoned and new ones quickly ingrained.
So this could be an interesting time for Joni Balter and her colleagues at The Seattle Times as she makes the move from that newspaper’s editorial desk, home of free-flowing opinions, over to the news desk, where objectivity must, by necessity, reign supreme.
Balter was the paper’s political columnist for many years; she will now serve as political editor for the news section of the Times.
In its story on the move, Publicola quotes Balter saying she has “long wanted to try some editing.”
“I am taking the lead on the Politics Northwest blog, trying to give it a bigger presence on the site and make it a must read,” she added to Publicola.
Obviously, an election year is a great time to beef up the political reporting desk.
Any struggles the paper has with the transition of an opinion writer to the news side of things will inherently be carried out in quieter fashion, as everyone, including reporters and their sources, get used to the new arrangement. Best of luck to all involved.
And in late-breaking news:
The above posts may be the last you see at the Publicola site. The website just announced it will be subsumed into the editorial webpages of Crosscut.com. Congratulations to all on that transition. We’ll blog about that later.