Shane RichmondThe recent announcement by The Guardian that it would adopt an internet-first policy for the publication of certain stories does not mean print editions are becoming moribund, writes The Telegraph’s online news editor Shane Richmond.

An online-first policy won't prevent reporters doing any of the things they do now, for example attending a press conference, taking a contact to lunch or discussing a story with colleagues.

Instead of covering one news story as two separate entities [print and online], we aim to view it as one story with many outlets. The whole process - from ticker and text alert, to website and RSS feed, and on to newspaper and magazine - is co-ordinated as one, rather than being a series of separate processes.

All the services the Telegraph provides will benefit from this integrated approach. The website will be strengthened with more content from our name journalists, published sooner than before.

The newspaper will have a deeper and richer pool of content to draw on and our readers will be able to access quality news and comment in whatever way suits them best.

This isn't the seismic change that many people portray it as. It's the latest development in a process that we began in 1994 when we became Europe's first web-based daily newspaper.

In October last year we integrated our business desk with little fanfare, though it seems from the recent announcements by our competitors that this might have been another first.

Presently there are two separate news teams at the Telegraph. I run the online team, while the newspaper team is run by Mike Smith.

When a story breaks the online team use wire copy, the Telegraph archive and, when there's time, quotes from our own sources to put the story together.

We have no deadlines - everything has to be done five minutes ago - so we put up a basic take of the story and then flesh it out with further takes as the day goes on.

Meanwhile the newspaper team prepares its story, working towards an evening deadline that will allow the piece to be carried in the paper.

The two departments liaise at morning and afternoon conferences. We take guidance from them based on their news priorities and they take guidance from us based on reader traffic priorities. Other than that, there is little communication.

We haven't yet finalised our integrated strategy, but all it would mean is increasing the communication and teamwork between the two operations.

Reporters may find earlier takes of their stories going online. When they've finished their article it might be published online straight away rather than waiting for the paper.

Conversely, some items produced for the internet - a timeline, for example - might be used by the paper.

A completely integrated newspaper is the next step. It doesn't mean the death of print. Paper and ink publishing has been one of the most powerful forces in history and it still meets some needs better than the technological alternatives.

One day e-paper and electronic readers will change this but that day is a way off. The technology isn't yet sufficiently advanced and the cost is still too high.

Nor does an integrated news strategy threaten the viability of the newspaper. There is surprisingly little overlap between online readers of the Telegraph and readers of the print versions. Some people consume both but the majority of our readers favour one or the other.

For precisely that reason, the other common prediction about the future of newspapers - that the print version will focus on comment and analysis, while the internet version carries news - is unlikely for the next few years.

Does this mean more work for journalists? Hopefully not; we're busy enough as it is.

But it does mean that journalists will have to get used to working across a range of media. The basic skills of reporting will not change but reporters will need to be comfortable writing for web or print and, yes, some of them will appear in podcasts or on video bulletins.

What do you think? Click on the comments link below...

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