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Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher on the explosion of digital content and changing newsroom focus

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Jasper Jackson, TheMediaBriefing Experts' Blog, Digital Media, Mobile, Newspapers


Newsrooms are producing content in far greater volumes and in new formats, turning digital designers and developers into the new "superstars" of the newsroom, The Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher told the Shift 2013 conference in London on Tuesday.

He says: "There is a high premium paid for designers and developers who can package your content digitally." 

And how has Gallagher's role changed? He says the editor job is essentially the same, except he now has to "value multimedia as much as words".

So in an average day The Telegraph now produces:

-- 600 articles 

-- 40 substantial videos

-- 25 picture galleries

-- 25 concurrently updated blog and an average of five live news blogs across news and sport.

-- Gallagher says barely a third of the output of The Telegraph newsroom goes out in print.

That's one of the reasons Telegraph Media Group decided to put out a digital afternoon edition on Flipboard, the personalised tablet and mobile aggregation platform. The plan is to fill that edition with valuable content that wouldn't make it into the next day's print paper.

Gallagher also shared how much work went in to covering the death of Margaret Thatcher, which in a 24-hour period:

-- 75 articles, 26 commentaries, 19 videos, eight picture galleries, and three graphics. 

-- On the day, 3.5 million people visited the website and 1.2 million read the newspaper.

Gallagher says he was also engaged in arranging the serialisation of a biography by Charles Moore and signing off on a Kindle book. However, among all the content they put out, the most popular online was an explainer article detailing who she was. 

 

Lessons to learn from Leveson

One of the main critiques of the Leveson enquiry was the limited attention it paid to the reality of modern newsrooms.

Gallagher says Leveson hasn't had much impact on the day-to-day workings of the paper, but it has made papers much more cautious about what they cover.  

"We had very few lessons to learn from Leveson," says Gallagher. "But it has made a difference to the way individual stories are covered, and there is a nervousness. 

"I can think of particular stories in the ether that they will not cover. They are cowed in the knowledge someone will pounce if they make any mistakes." 

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