Tag Archives: Financial Times

FT and Bureau of Investigative Journalism on partnering for EU funds investigation

The Financial Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have shared the details of the “considerable” work behind an eight-month investigation to document the recipients of the European structural fund.

The investigation involved dozens of journalists, researchers and coders being deployed by the FT and the Bureau, according to a report by the paper (requires subscription) on the partnership last night, which resulted in the creation of a database holding more than 600,000 records of projects and beneficiaries.

We downloaded the data, published by national authorities for the first time as part of the current budget round, from more than 100 websites of national and regional bodies. In the process, we examined almost 600 different files in 21 different languages.

The result was a database holding 646,929 records that we are puttting online for our readers to examine.

In its account of the investigation the Financial Times discusses the variation in the accessibility of data from different EU states.

Some EU states are to be commended for how they publish the data, but others have a long way to go. Estonia provides an easy-to use database. Others, such as Bulgaria, provide barely legible documents, and our team had to write a letter to the minister of the economy and make dozens of telephone calls to obtain the data in a useable format.

Meanwhile in its own account the Bureau outlines the steps that had to be taken by those involved.

The effort required to collate all the information was considerable. It involved downloading data from more than 100 websites of national and regional bodies that administer the funds, and captured in nearly 600 different files. This took months to complete.

…We are now, in late 2010, half way through the current spending round, and the database shows how funds have been allocated up to this time. We then went further to find out exactly how the money is being spent on the ground, and this has produced a series of films and news pieces.

Over the next few days the Bureau says, together with a group of international collaborators, it will release a number of stories resulting from the data. The Financial Times will cover the story for five days from today, while Al Jazeera, BBC Radio 4 File-on-Four, BBC World Service and France 2 will also broadcast programmes based on the research.

FT.com: Dow Jones planning digital overhaul of B2B activities

Dow Jones is planning a “digital overhaul” of its business to business activities, reports the Financial Times.

In its report (requires registration), the FT quotes Robert Thomson, Dow Jones’ editor in chief as saying that two editors were assigned to a ‘special project’ in September to focus on “new means of delivering industry-specific information to customers traditionally served by the group’s newswires and data products”.

“It’s obvious to even the casual observer that the part of the business that has slipped a little is B2B. It’s fair to say that that’s the concern which most occupies my thinking at the moment,” he said.

FT Group’s digital subscriptions rise by 50 per cent

Financial Times publisher Pearson has reported an increase of 11 per cent in overall sales for its newspaper operation for the first nine months of 2010, according to a Press Association report.

The FT Group, which according to a report by the FT makes up 15 per cent of turnover, also saw digital subscriptions to its content rise by 50 per cent in the first nine months of 2010 to more than 180,000.

Financial Times launches iPad app for Chinese edition

The Financial Times has launched its FTChinese.com app for iPad.

The  app is compatible with both the wi-fi and 3G iPad models and allows readers to download content to browse offline. It is sponsored by watchmaker Rolex.

The launch follows the FT’s highly successful iPad app, launched in May, which has attracted around 400,000 downloads and generated more than £1 million in advertising revenue. According to global commercial director Ben Hughes, the iPad now accounts for 10 per cent of the paper’s new digital subscriptions.

Oliver Zhang, senior product manager at FTChinese.com said: “The iPad is another exciting platform providing readers with FTChinese.com’s high quality content. Our objective is to allow users to read award-winning content on the move as well as  interact further with the website’s dynamic features such as slide shows, videos and interactive quizzes.”

Nieman: How the FT’s business model is more online retailer than publisher

Fascinating article on Nieman Journalism Lab from Ken Doctor, author of Newsonomics, looking at how the Financial Times, its website and its business model take inspiration from internet retail and not publishing.

Internet retailing — think Amazon — seems like a very different business than publishing. In the endlessly measurable digital age, though, the parallels are striking. It’s not in what you are selling – books, electronics, or news stories – it’s what you know about your customers, their habits and wants.

(…) In addition, analytics support the FT’s eight-member strategic sales team as it customises marketing approaches for firms and their agencies. Grimshaw says that by early 2011, advertisers themselves will get some access to FT audience data.

Full post on Nieman Journalism Lab at this link…

News Corp nearing a decision on ‘tablet-centric’ unit

According to a report in the Financial Times, News Corporation is “nearing a decision” on plans to start a news organisation which could provide content specifically for tablet device applications.

The plans, which could still be dropped, would mean the creation of a “tablet-centric” subscription product, for devices such as the iPad, with dedicated content produced for that platform.

The ambitious undertaking under consideration would be another test of consumers’ appetite to pay for news. The momentum behind developing a tablet-centric product is driven by a belief that readers are willing to pay for portability. News Corp’s early progress in selling subscriptions on the iPad has inspired the company to consider the new business.

The report adds that if the project goes ahead, it would mean job opportunities for new staff who would have to produce new content on news, entertainment, sports and politics.

See the full report at this link… (note: registration required)

FT begins search for journalists to staff new online service

A new online service from the Financial Times is advertising for editors and writers to join them from across the globe.

FT Tilt, which will launch later this year, says on its landing page that it will provide “a similar blend of lively news and analysis for a specialist audience of finance professionals”.

The FT won’t discuss the project publicly just yet, but confirmed they are currently recruiting journalists as well as user interface engineers to work on the new site.

The project is being led by the same team that developed FT Alphaville, the company’s successful financial blog.

See more here…

paidContent:UK: FT print sunset or Abu Dhabi sunrise?

The Financial Times parent company Pearson has distanced itself from comments made on Tuesday by its director of global content standards Madi Solomon that the newspaper was “already pulling back” from print (read full PC report here). Solomon said he could see the FT stopping most of its printing within five years.

Pearson has now told paidContent:UK that it has no plans to scale back print operations and has opened a print site in Abu Dhabi this year with plans to commence printing in India soon.

Full story at this link…

Brand Republic: FT withdraws from ABCe audits for web traffic

In the same month that it launched its own metric for measuring readers across print, online and other media, the Financial Times has officially withdrawn from the monthly audit of UK newspapers’ web traffic conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe). It’s been some time since the FT website’s figures were included in the monthly stats – listed as N/A below a print circulation figure in the monthly multi-platform reports issued by the auditor.

Says a spokesperson:

The FT no longer participates in ABCes as volume traffic measures have become less relevant to our advertisers and clients. We do not intend to compete on volume, rather the quality of our registered and subscriber readership.

Full story at this link…

Reuters Insider embraces collaboration and ‘citizen experts’ in a new model for TV news

Reuters’ new Insider platform officially launched today – described by the Financial Times as a YouTube for traders, it offers subscribers video news, interviews, market analysis, charts and more from Reuters and more than 150 content partners.

The project, which has hired a staff of more than 100 journalists and technical staff, sees a collaborative approach to news, featuring, as it does, programming from multiple news organisations:

  • CNBC, Sky, Forbes, ITN;
  • Regional media: China Knowledge, Russian TV, Eurobusiness Media, Africa Investor, ET Now;
  • Niche media: forextv.com, Telecomm TV, Dukascopy, The Deal.com and additionally Beet.TV, according to this announcement from the website.

We’re not in competition with CNBC. They’re a consumer play and we’re narrowcast. This is an opportunity for CNBC and other players to get a different set of eyes on their material – to get their programming directly integrated into the workflow of the financial professional. Right to their desktop alongside the market data they need to do business.

It’s also part of a more global approach we are told:

Reuters Insider operates as a single studio network and produces programming with a global perspective. For example, content that is produced out of Hong Kong serves our customers in all parts of the world. This is a fundamentally different approach to the way Bloomberg produces its global coverage, which is tailored for the local audience.

Major financial brands such as Citibank and HSBC will also provide content to the network – a nod towards businesses as their own publishers.

But perhaps the most innovative part of the platform, which is internet-based, is the ability for users to submit their own videos and personalise the network to their own needs:

Users can create their own channels based on personal and professional interests. This cutting-edge technology not only delivers the most relevant videos to that channel, but it delivers the most relevant 30 seconds of those videos. All videos are accompanied by charts, graphs, and most importantly, text transcripts that have highlighted search terms viewers can click on that bring them to that exact point in the video.

Viewers can also edit the video, email or instant message video clips, and in a groundbreaking move, they can self-broadcast research, market commentary, and video via their firm’s branded channel on Reuters Insider.

In previous experiments with video on its website and in its coverage of the World Economics Forum in Davos, Thomson Reuters has referred to the importance of ‘citizen experts’ – individuals amongst its clients and audience who can bring expertise and values insight to news alongside the reports of its journalists. The Insider network seems to take this a step further, increasing interactivity and the value placed upon expert information and analysis.

Reuters is confident that it’s offering something new with this launch – potentially a new model for television and video news:

Reuters Insider is the first of its kind and has the potential to lay the groundwork for the future of the media and television industries. While Thomson Reuters is targeting financial professionals, this model is something that can be adapted to television news in general, whether it’s entertainment, politics, etc.

This unique television experience transforms financial programming from a passive one-way broadcast into an interactive and powerfully personalized medium.