The Times Union will be embracing coffee shop journalism for some of its coverage, as the newspaper has decided to close its Saratoga Springs and Troy bureaus.
“I hope this will bring us closer to the communities that we’re covering,” said Rex Smith, editor of the Times Union.
The decision to close the Troy bureau in April and the Saratoga Spring bureau in June is part of the paper’s emphasis on mobile journalism, which Smith hopes will make reporters more accessible. He said that having reporters spending time in public places will give them more visibility.
The plan is to have reporters work from popular spots like coffee shops, where they’ll be teamed with an editor and can be approached by local citizens. Smith said the newspaper plans to announce the reporter’s destination ahead of time.
According to Smith, this transition has been in the works for over a year. He said the newspaper didn’t explore moving the two bureaus into smaller or less expensive space, as the decision was rooted in a desire to change the style of coverage.
Mobile reporters will be equipped with smart phones and laptops with wireless air cards that will allow them to file stories from almost anywhere.
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