Breaking Down the Walls, or at least Moving the Offices

As an employee of the Los Angeles Times, I was witness this week to a great coming-together of parties that has been long overdue for the paper. I was there to see the web department integrate into the newsroom.

Formerly, the web department had been cast off onto an entirely different floor from the newsroom, that great bastion of journalistic integrity and values. And those significantly younger, significantly hipper web designers and editors had been snubbed by old-school reporters like new money is snubbed by the Kennedys.

But this week's integration reflects an acceptance of the web department as more than simply a means for disseminating the articles written by reporters in the newsroom. It shows an acceptance that the web department is less similar to the machinists working at The Times' printing plant and more similar to the print editors themselves, who shape stories to fit the medium. It verifies their worth as journalists.

And it's about time.