By Katherine Ratliff
The third and final stop on the Indianapolis trip was to the new home of the Indianapolis Star. Housed inside the Circle Center Mall, the Star has been completely redesigned to reflect a modern and progressive atmosphere.
Upon entering, we were greeted by Emily Hervey, an engagement manager employed to show groups like ours the company and their newsroom.
According to Hervey, the building was built with community in mind, with several spaces available to host large events. The building had a very open layout, with plenty of areas for employees to get away from their desks for a while.
Upstairs, we were shown the business side of things, where large gatherings of desks filled an open space. The layout was designed to encourage collaboration between departments, something the Star feels is vital in order to continue moving forward in the business.
The importance of catering to the readers was consistently emphasized during the visit. All Gannett companies have been using systems to track their Web traffic for two years, according to social media editor Amy Bartner.
The analytics provided by the program show all the details of a story and its performance. It is able to track how many clicks the story gets, how long a person stays on the page, and even the exact point at which they stopped reading. This kind of feedback is extremely valued by the Star, allowing the writers to see what works to attract viewers and what does not.
Ernie Pyle scholar Carley Lanich joined the Media Scholars on this trip, and found it extremely beneficial.
“I’m a huge journalism nerd and I grew up in Indy, so I’ve always been an avid reader of the Indy Star,” Lanich said. “As a young journalist, seeing it in person made it seem very real and like something I could see myself doing.”
After receiving a full tour of the newsroom and getting the chance to speak with editors and reporters, students walked away with a better of understanding of the Star’s techniques and their vision for the future.