NPR combining news apps, multimedia teams

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NPR’s news applications and multimedia operations are merging into a single unit to be headed by current News Applications Editor Brian Boyer.

“We were already sitting right next to each other,” Boyer said. “When we moved into the new building, it was already obvious that we would be working closely together.”

The departments have already collaborated on several projects, including a web presentation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s family photos and a Tumblr, Cook Your Cupboard, which advises home cooks about how to use odds and ends from their pantries.

Other desks have often approached Boyer’s team about attempting projects with multimedia components, he said, forcing him to redirect such requests to the Multimedia desk. The new arrangement will make collaboration smoother, he said.

“I don’t have a giant vision for how this is all going to work,” Boyer said. “To be perfectly honest, I’m not an expert in photography, I’m not an expert in videography. I’m learning it as I go along.”

The move comes after two key members of NPR’s digital applications staff took jobs at the National Geographic Society: Keith Jenkins, who left his role as head of multimedia in June, and Coburn Dukehart, who was NPR’s Picture and Multimedia Editor until her exit in October. Boyer said final staffing arrangements for the combined unit have not yet been determined.

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