Digital First Media announced today that it is creating a national curation team as part of its centralized news operation. That operation, called Thunderdome, will be produced by Digital First’s MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. The content from Thunderdome will be distributed to its 800 multi-platform products in an effort to bolster the quality of its newsrooms. Julie Westfall will lead the team with Angela Carter and Karen Workman joining as curators.
The curation team will track, collect and distribute curated news in order for newsrooms to focus on local reporting. “Providing context to everything we curate is vital to providing a comprehensive news report,” said digital projects editor Mandy Jenkins. “It’s our responsibility to bring these stories to each of our local markets.”
As local coverage continues to suffer from slashed budgets and layoffs, Digital First has been setting up community newsroom projects, which include mobile initiatives and collaborating with local bloggers. Thunderdome and the curation team will broaden and enhance coverage of national issues.
“Successful curation… will entice many people to click through and read or watch more,” wrote Steve Buttry in a blog post. Buttry is the director of community engagement & social media at Digital First, and he pointed out some useful guidelines and tips for curators in the post. “Effective curation boosts the experience of each of the pieces by presenting multiple pieces in a context that enhances your understanding of each piece,” he wrote.