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Telegraph news recruits need to be commercially focused too, says new media director

The world is becoming more commercial, so Telegraph editorial recruits have to reflect this shift, Alison Reay, director of new media, told an Association of Online Publishers (AOP) forum yesterday.

The integration of the Telegraph’s newsroom, she added, created a multimedia hub for the paper’s commercial interests as well as for editorial.

“People recruited in the last six to 12 months are a lot more commercially focused… It is all about how you bring the commercial and the journalists together,” she said.

Channel managers have been appointed to the newsroom to bridge this gap between commercial and editorial online. These have ‘profit and loss very close to their hearts’ without any specific revenue targets placed on them, Reay said.

For the Telegraph these roles are about finding new ways to integrate advertising online – avoiding the tradition advertorial and without compromising editorial values of the content.

“Our job as publishers is to provide an audience. But should we be judged by the number of people clicking through?” asked Reay.

Part of this – in terms of video content – has been offering in-house ad production, which has seen the publisher embark on collaborative ad production with brands and agencies.

In addition the paper has used its journalists’ existing strengths, turning them from ‘columns to camera’ to make video content a more attractive avenue for advertisers and more cost-effective for the publisher, Reay added.