What Is News? Ask Sallie Hofmeister of the Los Angeles Times

Kevin Roderick at LA Observed shared an email to entertainment bloggers from the Los Angeles TimesCompany Town showbiz blog from Sallie Hofmeister, the newspaper’s assistant managing editor of arts and entertainment, pushing them to dig up more “surprising or interesting” stories. The email, via LA Observed:

Subject: what is news?

Hey everyone:

We should all be thinking about this as we try to position the Cotown blog as THE news source for all the business of entertainment. If something is happening, even if it is expected and not surprising, the blog should have an original thought about it to make it surprising or interesting. Surely it’s a no-brainer that Amy Pascal was re-upped and maybe not considered hugely newsworthy (although it surely would be if she decided not to re-up). Our competitors are busy putting out the routine headline, but we should be thinking more analytically, perhaps posting about the longevity of studio chiefs and how many years each one has on the job…something that broadens it beyond just the news and advances routine news with some angle that readers can use to sound smart in a meeting or cocktail party. Or the post about a deal that we said was all but finalized. Instead of blowing it off when the release comes out, we need to come up with a fresh angle. People might not have seen our previous coverage! And it’s a way to do RELATED posts on all the previous stuff we have written, giving those stories a second life!

Thanks for considering this.