FT's 'Web-Ready' Newsroom Plans: After 80 Layoffs, It's Integration Time

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Want to know how the Financial Times will cope without the 80 journalists it is laying off in these finance news-hungry times? We’re at least a bit closer after this leaked strategy document found its way online, which outlines a new publishing model designed to unite its cross-media processes. The document (see below), via Telegraph.co.uk, sets out how journalists will put online at the front end of the editorial chain in every case — rather than, as was the case at every newspaper in recent history, at the very back. It remains to be seen how this will go down with FT staff, who have been encouraged to take unpaid leave to cut costs, and held a day of action in their office after nine editorial compulsory redundancies were threatened (later downgraded to two).

Web-ready: Reporters are expected to add links, company data, write headlines and check for length on their stories, plus build on them once online, using using Eidos Media’s Methode CMS. Editing desks then check everything, link the content to ready-made newspaper subbing templates, before the subs desk finish the cycle and press the publish button. It does appear to be a genuine web-first publishing strategy and quite apart from the FT’s current model which does hold back some stories for its print editions. The company is hiring four “news integrators” to see the changes through.

Fewer editions: The FT currently prints three editions in London but is replacing the third with a later second edition, emphasizing online as the place to break news.

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This would be an efficient way to accomplish content, digital or print tasks of the company. This is simplified yet very flexible process, which will create an advantage for the company but disadvantage for employees.

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