The Middletown Press' office space is going virtual as of Feb. 1, the Middlesex County, Connecticut newspaper reported Monday. The move exemplifies a cost-cutting trend in abandoning traditional headquarters.
The move, effective Feb. 1, allows The Press to make a greater investment in its Middletown area news coverage and advertising services, rather than on a building, said Kevin Corrado, president and publisher of Digital First Media/Connecticut, the newspaper’s parent company.
The newspaper and website, middletownpress.com, aren’t going anywhere. And the publication’s journalists and advertising representatives will be in the community as always.
According to the paper's staff page, five people work in advertising, five in news, one in sports and two in circulation and production. Reporters at the paper will have desks at the main offices in New Haven, according to the report, "but mostly will be working in the communities they cover." Mark Brackenbury, executive editor of Digital First Media/Connecticut, told Poynter in an email that the paper didn't wish to comment beyond what was in the story.
I asked Poynter's Rick Edmonds if/how this was working elsewhere.
"Newspapers have been abandoning their big old headquarters buildings in droves for generic office space, but this move takes it a step further," he said. "There have been some other experiments (Arizona Star in Tucson for example) asking reporters mostly to file from the field instead of coming into the office, but that and working mostly from home are a step short of going altogether virtual. As I read the story, staff who want or need an office setting will need to drive 27 miles to New Haven."
There are many perspectives (and reports with statistics) on whether or not working remotely actually, well, works. Do you work remotely? What makes it work? As someone who does this four days a week, having a dedicated office and refusing to do dishes all day certainly helps me. What works for you? What do you miss about working in an actual newsroom? Editors, what would be the most challenging about not seeing the people who make up your staff? What would you enjoy about it? Let me know and I'll compile some tips from your responses.