Indpendent paper
Credit: By Andy Hay on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Six journalists from one media company would frequently attend one press conference or sporting event, a practice which was "not efficient", Chris Blackhurst, group content director at the Independent, told the International Newsroom Summit taking place in Berlin this week.

He explained how various reporters and photographers from the Independent, sister title i, and London Evening Standard, all owned by the Lebedev family, would cover one golf tournament or tennis match.

"We concluded that this was completely mad," Blackhurst said, but admitted that "to journalists this is heresy".

"We can no longer have journalists working in silos," he explained. The integration of the Standard and Independent newsrooms has begun. Business and sport are both now integrated and "there's been no loss of quality", according to Blackhurst.

“I am the fat controller”, Blackhurst added, referencing children's TV programme Thomas the Tank Engine, as he considers his role as one of directing which people go where.

London Live

The same journalists will soon be creating video content for London Live, a local TV station which will launch in March.

The TV station is going to run 365 days a year, and the company is currently "hiring TV presenters, make-up people, technicians", and adding 50 new editorial staff to the team.

Journalists are going to write for print, digital and TV, he said. "They are going to be running round with iPhones".

Newspapers are distinguished by editors, commentators and design, Blackhurst said, adding that reporters can provide the same copy for different papers and TV.

"We are freeing people up to do stories they wouldn't otherwise be able to do," he said. And "video is the only way we think that we can make digital pay", he added.

For more on the approach to print and digital at the Independent, i and Evening Standard see this previous Journalism.co.uk article.

Journalism.co.uk is at the World Publishing Expo in Berlin. Follow@SarahMarshall3 / @johncthompson / #wpe13 for updates. The 'live notes' from this session are here.

Update (10 October): London Live is recruiting 50 new editorial staff ahead of launch.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).

blog comments powered by Disqus