Profile picure of Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times
The 'balance of power' in journalism is shifting towards new media, Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, has said.

The disruptive force of new media on traditional journalism are at the root of widespread newspaper redundancies in the US, Barber said in an article to be published in tomorrow's FT Weekend Life & Arts supplement.

"The imperial status of the mainstream media – the television networks, big metropolitan dailies and lofty commentators – has been shaken. The lay-offs of hundreds of US newspaper journalists this summer are a symptom of a wider malaise," he said.

"We are witnessing a shift in the balance of power towards new media, with wholesale repercussions for the practice of journalism."

In the piece, in which Barber also details his thoughts on the differences between journalism in the UK and US, the FT editor said coverage of the current US presidential race would be seen as 'a tipping point in American journalism'.

"The sea change was palpable at the Democratic national convention in Denver in August. Hundreds of bloggers were present, many enjoying for the first time much-coveted seats inside the convention hall. Close by, the bloggers set up were installed in a 'Big Tent', a 9,000-sq foot, two-storey structure devoted to new media and offering free massages," said Barber.

"The mainstream press, one top New York Times journalist sniffed, were obliged to register as visitors before being allowed inside."

His comments follow the FT's implementation of increasingly web focussed strategies. Richard Edgar, FT.com's head of video, told Journalism.co.uk earlier this month that the paper's website planned to break more news through video.

In September FT.com experienced strong year-on-year growth in web traffic with an increase of 300 per cent in terms of page impressions and a 250 per cent rise in unique users.

UPDATE: The full article is now available at www.ft.com/artsandweekend.

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