OPAThe chief executive of Guardian Media Group told an industry conference that over the next 18 months £15 million would be invested in redeveloping Guardian Unlimited.

Carolyn McCall told delegates at the OPA conference, in London today, that as part of this overhaul the Guardian had 'big plans' for video - to take advantage of its advertising potential.

She added that the popularity of video on the website and the production of films for broadcasters like Channel 4 and the BBC has seen Guardian Films, its television production company, grow rapidly over recent months to a point where it now broke even.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger told conference that £1 million would be invested in video production and hiring experienced production staff.

Currently self-taught reporters and camera people put projects together.

"We don’t think we can go forward without proper resources and reporters," he said.

He also said that Guardian also intendeds to launch an American version of its Comment is free portal as part of its bid to be the world's leading voice of liberalism.

Referring to an announcement, earlier in the week, that focus would now be 24/7 he added that the Guardian now thought of itself as a digital company where the web was the 'pre-eminent' element.

"We are there for the long term. Journalism is an expensive business and we need to hold our nerve and have a belief in that journalism," he said.

Yet despite the innovation of the last two years, Mr Rusbridger said the Guardian was still in early development of conversion to web-dominated news.

He added: "I'm really frightened that we are not doing enough [web innovation] and not doing it fast enough.

"When we built the Berliner we built it in 18 months… at the time it seemed to be the most difficult thing in the world to do.

"I now realise that was just a doddle compared to changing for web 1.0 and then web 2.0"

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