Financial Times to publish single global print edition

The Financial Times plans to move away from its print legacy by bringing about some trailblazing changes to the publishing of its different news editions globally, with complete focus on ‘smart aggregation of content,’ Journalism.co.ukreported. This move outlines the financial news’ major’s gradual shift towards online media and provides for an indicative outline of the future: To go only-digital.

In a memo issued to staffers, Lionel Barber, editor of FT has signalled the next steps towards the “digital-first” strategy. The single global print product will be launched in the first half of 2014, with newly redesigned and updated content that reflects modern taste and reading habits. This change will impact the newsroom structure and influences change in the way newspapers practice journalism. The future print edition will derive from the web offering and not vice versa, which will be produced by a small print-focused team working alongside a larger integrated web/day production team.

This single section newspaper means “minimal late evening changes and more templating of standard pages.” However the UK edition will retain its flexibility to include tailored UK content, with designing efforts being focused on “show pages” with accompanying rich data and graphics, Barber stated in the memo. Furthermore, news editors and reporters will shift away from reactive newsgathering to value-adding “news in context,” while following its pursuit of original, investigative journalism. Overall, these changes will mean that much of the newspaper will be pre-planned and produced.
The newspaper that once planned around page layouts will now adopt a news bulletin-style approach, USA Today reported.

“News editors will need to do more pre-planning and intelligent commissioning for print and online. This will require a change in mindset for editors and reporters but it is absolutely the right way forward in the digital age,” Barber stated in the memo. Plans online include an emphasis on articles rather than section pages.
Online stories will be published to correspond with peak viewing times, much like a broadcast schedule, and the website will include the newspapers and some third-party content, according to a report by Bloomberg.

By: Savita V Jayaram

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