Financial Times cake

The editor of the Financial Times has shared "the next steps" in its move to a digital-first news operation in a memo which was today published online, including a focus online on "smart aggregation of content from our own journalists and third parties".

In the memo, Lionel Barber told FT journalists that the new approaches will prompt "changes in work practices, a further shift of resources to and a significant reshaping of the newspaper", including the introduction of "a single edition, global print product" next year.

"The new FT will be redesigned and updated to reflect modern tastes and reading habits," he said, adding that it will take its cue from the website, as opposed to the other way around.

"The 1970s-style newspaper publishing process – making incremental changes to multiple editions through the night – is dead," he continued in the memo.

"In future, our print product will derive from the web offering – not vice versa".

He also outlined a more context-driven editorial approach, with a "shift further away from reactive news gathering". But he highlighted the importance of staying "faithful to the pursuit of original, investigative journalism".

"News editors will need to do more pre-planning and intelligent commissioning for print and online. This will require a change in mindset for editors and reporters but it is absolutely the right way forward in the digital age."

Engagement was also a talking point in the memo, with Barber stressing the need to "adapt further to a world where reporters and commentators converse with readers".

"Our goal must be to deepen engagement and ensure we meet readers’ demands whenever and however they turn to us for breaking news and quality analysis," he said, highlighting its recently-launched live feed of 'market-moving news' FastFT as "one of our most successful innovations this year", in this area.

Last month reported on the creation of a vice-president of communities role at the Financial Times, and also interviewed communities editor Sarah Laitner in August about how the news outlet is engaging with its community on social media.

The Media Briefing's Patrick Smith offers a detailed look at the FT's situation, while the Guardian's Roy Greenslade discusses the changes facing the print product.

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