“For the Globe, the spring launch of a new tablet edition represents much more than a new platform for our journalism.”

We are pleased to announce that Greg Boyd is assuming the role of Digital News Editor, effectively immediately, and will be responsible for directing the content mix and programming of our new iPad and iPhone app.

Greg is a natural assignment editor with a great eye for stories that resonate. He also brings to the job a unique range of experiences: He has run the Toronto section, served as deputy national editor, overseen the newspaper during the evening and, most recently, shepherded our morning content as a digitally focused news editor.

This perspective will be key as Greg makes decisions throughout the day on the placement and play of stories on the app and – more broadly – works with all sections to ensure that we are not merely giving readers the journalism they want, but that we are delivering it to them when they want and how they want it.

For the Globe, the spring launch of a new tablet edition represents much more than a new platform for our journalism. It represents an opportunity to rethink the way our newsroom works and to create meaningful and lasting culture change. We have made strides in bridging the gap between print and digital over the past several years, but there is little doubt that we can and must do more to bring them together. The dynamics of the tablet will compel us to do that, and impose change for the better. Here are a few reasons why. 

1.       It will change how and when we meet. Our meeting schedule is still geared to print priorities, whether that be A1, section fronts, Folio, or our flagship weekend paper. The tablet will be refreshed a few times a day, at prescribed times. We will have to restructure the way we share, plan and make decisions to meet that schedule.

2.       It will change the way we set priorities. We spend an inordinate amount of time debating the four stories that will land on the front of the newspaper. The tablet, like the newspaper, will contain a finite number of stories, but it is not simply a translation of print. It is a unique medium, requiring its own mix of content tailored to a specific time of day. This will sharpen the way we pitch stories and speed the decision-making process, which will bring improved clarity across the organization. It will also require us, at the outset, to conceive of how story packages such as Folio will play digitally before we commence a print design. 

3.       It will encourage experimentation. The tablet offers us the chance to tell stories in a different way, to think how we may deliver an idea (or enhance one) more effectively with multimedia and interactivity.

4.       It will make us improve our communication. We must become better at planning and sharing information at the earliest stage of a story or project. This may sound process-driven, but the payoff will be huge in terms of presenting and promoting our journalism in the strongest possible way not only on tablet, but across all platforms.

We know there are a lot more questions about the tablet – from the content plan to staffing to how our days will change. Communication and consultation will ramp up over the next couple of weeks in a number of ways.

Greg is meeting with various sections to discuss everything from tablet architecture, to content mix, to programming times and information sharing. Starting next week, we will be holding daily “open-house” hours for reporters and editors to visit the tablet war room in Boardroom F to get a sense of the look and feel of the tablet edition and to chat with Greg, Matt Frehner, Devin or Kevin, our initial core working group. In about two weeks, when the design and content plan are more fully formed, we will hold a couple of larger show-and-tell sessions for the newsroom.

We are also looking to you for ideas and feedback. If you have questions or ideas on content, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Greg directly. You can also send ideas, questions and thoughts to tablet@globeandmail.com, a mailbox we’ve set up that will reach the entire core team.

David Walmsley   Sinclair Stewart   Kevin Siu