Embracing the new: The Daily Telegraph

For the UK’s highest-selling daily newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, the key to a successful move from a traditional to modern media landscape lay in bringing about a complete synergy between print and online publishing.

Chris Lloyd, the 36-year-old assistant managing editor at the Telegraph, said the transition was not in response to the threat of the Internet but rather a massive opportunity for the newspaper.

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Symposium of Online Journalism at UT, Lloyd said the transformation to a single-floor, hybrid newsroom took about seventeen weeks.

He said groups of about a dozen journalists took a week off their routines to learn the theories and applications of new media.

“The point of training was really to address the issue that people don’t like change,” Lloyd said. “But if you’ve got a lot of intelligent people they can often do a lot more than they thought they could.”

Journalists were required to produce four pages of broadsheet newspaper, some audio files and video footage over the course of a day.

“We really looked at how they were using their news judgment to make decisions in different media,” Lloyd said. “We found it was a lot about organization.”

The three-month pilot project helped to show gaps in the new process, Lloyd said.

“It’s not like everyone uses every medium everyday and we don’t expect them to be perfect,” Lloyd said. “We don’t have a blueprint for what we’re doing and during training we really encouraged the journalists not to hold it all inside if they didn’t think something was working.”

Lloyd also said he thinks trusted brands with a heritage will gain readership by providing quality online content and also add to their bottom line with additional advertising revenue.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship, the advertising and the editorial side together,” Lloyd said. “A lot of what you see online is rubbish so most people would rather read online stories from print brands they already trust.”

ISOJ 2008: Hybrid Newsroom for the Digital Age, from Knight Center on Vimeo.