The New York Times is to merge its online and print newsrooms.

This week's announcement reflects the increasing credibility of online news, as well as the recognition that readers now expect content on multiple platforms. The paper has a policy of what it calls 'platform neutrality' - that the quality of journalism is more important than the method of delivery.

"The reporting and editing staff at the original newsroom is much more at ease with the web, more eager to embrace it both as an opportunity for invention and an alternative way to reach our demanding audience," said executive editor Bill Keller and NYTimes Digital senior vice president Martin Nisenholtz in a joint memo to staff.

"We have a burgeoning video unit that is eager to be a larger presence on the website, at a time when most users of have graduated to the kind of high-speed delivery that makes video appealing."

In the ten years since the New York Times website was launched, the online publication has matured and is ready to 'raise digital journalism to the next level'.

Until now, the two teams had been 'partners at a distance', but the new phase of integration will mean the web team will be involved in the process of conceiving and producing news for the print paper and will also contribute to development ideas for the title.

"By integrating the newsrooms we plan to diminish and eventually eliminate the difference between newspaper journalists and web journalists - to reorganise our structures and our minds to make web journalism, in forms that are both familiar and yet-to-be-invented, as natural to us as writing and editing, and to do all of this without losing the essential qualities that make us the Times. Our readers are moving, and so are we," said the memo.

Despite the planned integration of the online and offline news teams, Mr Keller added that physically integrating the two departments would not be possible until the company moves to its new premises.

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