FT 125 anniversary
Credit: Financial Times

The Financial Times has produced a Tumblr containing memories from "past and present" journalists to mark the newspaper's 125th anniversary.

A number of news outlets have used Tumblr in recent times in a range of ways, from offering updates on new projects within the newsroom such as the Times's digital experiments Tumblr, or to document specific events, such as the New York Times's Agenda Tumblr which covered the US election.

At the FT, main news integrator Leyla Boulton was tasked with co-ordinating the news outlet's anniversary celebrations within editorial.

"When I took on this role I discovered that we had a wonderful book on the first 100 years of the FT, but we had nothing for the past 25 years.

"So I thought I would crowdsource the history of the FT for the past 25 years by asking all staffers, past and present, for their best memories and stories from their time at the FT, and this included any role they might have played in a particularly strong front page, or particularly extraordinary encounter with a contact, or in the office." She said this prompted "some wonderful contributions", dating back to the 1950s.

It was decided that the anniversary would be a good occasion to launch the Tumblr blog, which had already been developed.

"That seemed to us the best vehicle for telling this living memories history, if you will, online in parallel to our effort in the paper, which as you may have seen, included the re-printing of some of the stories on a four-page spread inside the paper.

"We have some wonderful pictures, words and we also have some audio and basically it was just the most wonderfully flexible and versatile format."

Social media manager Rebecca Heptinstall added that the setting up of Tumblr was driven by the growth of the social blogging platform, particularly in the US.

"The US is a core focus for the FT and we've been pondering for some time what the role of Tumblr should be, so 125 just seemed the right time to really launch there.

"We do already have an FT weekend Tumblr as well, but that tends to be for more lifestyle content, food and drink tends to work really well there."

She added that "for the whole of 2013 the role of Tumblr will be 125th content" and that next year the FT will decide how to continue using the page.

The Tumblr currently stands alone instead of being integrated into the site as some news outlets choose to do. Heptinstall said the FT sees it "as the ideal platform for reaching new audiences and so in that respect it doesn't need to sit within FT.com".

Marking the anniversary today, the FT has also published an "anniversary feature in print" by editor Lionel Barber, alongside its digital content, as well as a one-day offer for a year-long subscription to the FT.com for $125, £125 or €125.

Its digital anniversary content, which is collected together within an "anniversary hub" online, also includes an interactive timeline plotting the FT's history.

In March the FT will also be publishing an ebook and hardback anniversary book, called 'Lunch with the FT, 52 Classic Interviews'.

"That actually came out of our initiative to start ebooks last year," Leyla Boulton told Journalism.co.uk. "One of the first titles we thought of was to do a selection of our best lunches with the FT and that in turn was adopted as a great anniversary book both in hardback form and ebook.

Update: This article was updated to correct Rebecca Heptinstall's title to social media manager, not community manager.

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).