Trinity Mirror will start to re-launch all its regional and local newspaper websites by the end of the year to refocus on interactive elements.

The re-launch will start with the Liverpool Echo, before expanding across all its 240 other titles - some of which will be going online for the first time.

The Liverpool re-launch will introduce title specific sites for the Echo, the Liverpool Post and smaller local sites - with the existing ICLiverpool site acting as a hub to the new pages.

Trinity Mirror also hopes to have as many as 60 video journalists working across its regional titles by next year.

Neil Benson, editorial director of Trinity Mirror regionals, told that the company's regional editors had been in consultation over developing a new website design.

He said: "There is an agreement across the board on interactivity being right up there and we're basing the new website design on interactivity.

"This will be launched on our Northwest sites first. Liverpool Echo will lead the way, along with the Post, and the launch will be before the end of the year."

Mr Benson added that two new homepage templates are being designed, for the larger regionals and local papers, which combine core text-based news elements with prominent videos - a shift of approach brought about by the popularity of video on the sites.

Mr Benson told that Trinity Mirror's Northwest titles had more than 38,000 video downloads from their websites last month, and his expectation was that the region would get up to 100,000 downloads per month by the start of 2007.

"In Liverpool, Newcastle and Teesside, video journalism is now done daily, it's built into the everyday running of the newsroom," he said.

"We have got 20 to 25 trained video journalist across the regional newspapers division. The plan is to increase the number, to double or treble them, to have 40 to 60 trained video journalist by the end of next year."

To read the full interview with Neil Benson click here.

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