CNN's 'old-fashioned' new plan

'All-platform journalists' to be stationed in smaller cities

NEW YORK -- Despite the tough times for the news business, CNN is shifting resources to dramatically increase its U.S. newsgathering efforts by stationing reporters in 10 smaller cities including Seattle and Columbus, Ohio.

The 10 so-called "all-platform journalists" will join 16-18 of CNN's domestic general-assignment reporters. These reporters will be armed with lightweight technology that will give them the ability to quickly run to a news story and get on the air live.

"Technology has changed so dramatically that we can change how we actually operate," CNN senior vp domestic newsgathering Nancy Lane said. "A lot of what we were doing is, if you will, an old-fashioned approach to newsgathering."

These new-style reporters will contribute to all of CNN's platforms including TV and online and will work with the other traditional general-assignment reporters and correspondents for its shows. The first is based in Minneapolis, housed at CNN's affiliate there. The other reporters will be based in Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Seattle and Columbus by early next year.

"What makes the difference is how we're able to get out, spread those journalists to more places and how quickly we can bring back original reporting to our viewers," Lane said.

While a few new people might be hired, it's likely that most of the all-platform journalists will come from other parts of the country. They're being trained in the use of the technology, which includes wireless distribution, editing and electronic newsgathering.

All of the networks have been experimenting with or deploying new technology in recent years. ABC has gone the furthest by creating one-person bureaus outfitted with the latest technology to increase its worldwide reporting in such places as India and Kenya.