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Olympics coverage: Q&A with David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today

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Olympics coverage: Q&A with David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today

WAN-IFRA recently asked David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today, about his plans for covering the global event.

WAN-IFRA: What would you define as successful coverage of the 2014 Olympics? What is your newspaper’s main goal?

Callaway: A competitive, safe Olympic games not marred by political fallout and brimming with fabulous stories of athletes and teams. Discovery of new young stars in sports, both U.S. and around the world. Our main goal as a news organization is to provide 24/7 digital coverage – web, video, mobile – to our primary audience, and to provide not only results, but great stories and clever angles.

How do you plan to use social media during the Olympics?

Social is tied into all our coverage plans everyday so it will be the same at the Games. Most journalists and certainly all of our columnists will be on Twitter, Facebook, and to some extent Instagram throughout the Games. We’ll introduce specific, Olympic-themed Twitter and Facebook feeds for those who want to follow our coverage primarily on social.

Have you felt the effects of the contracting newspaper industry? How has this affected your coverage of the upcoming Olympics?

Print circulation remains challenged, though we’ve had a strong year. For more than 18 months now our primary goal is to transition to digital in all of its forms. Our digital audience is now more than four times the size of our print audience each and every day, and growing fast. We are sending several dozen journalists to the Games. No decrease in investment. Because USA Today is owned by Gannett, which owns 81 other newspapers and 23 TV stations, we’ll be spearheading reporting for all of them, and in many cases with representatives from some of the largest of those operations.

How will your coverage differ from previous games?

Time changes always lead to differing coverage plans. But because of our digital preparation we’ll be in a position to cover events and results and breaking stories even faster than we were in London, and with more video and more social tied in.

David Callaway will speak at the World Editors Forum in Torino, 9-11 June.


Salim Valji


2013-12-17 12:39

Author information

The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

The 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit took place from 1 - 3 June 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In this blog, WAN-IFRA provides previews, interviews, summaries of the presentations and other useful information about the Congress.

Participants were also very active on Twitter throughout the event under the hashtag #wnmc19.

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