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Digital transformation in media: why digital content is enhancing print content

Digital transformation. We hear this term being thrown around regularly, but it is very rarely defined, nor does it tend to describe what we can expect from the journalism we consume. 

In November 2018, FT editor and long-standing media professional Lionel Barber gave a speech on the evolution of financial journalism, stating it “has never been so versatile, never so tested.”

[Journalism is] on multiple platforms: print, audio, camera. They code, they compose, they collaborate in ways unimaginable a decade ago.

Lionel BarberEditor of the FT

We are now consuming and constructing content in various ways. We have robot reporters writing local paper headlines. A boom in social media news consumption has seen a rise of fake news. Some believe that print journalism “serves no real purpose” - which our Due Diligence editors speak for the rest of the FT when they say we beg to differ.

The FT operates on multiple media fronts, from our established roots with the pink physical paper, online on FT.com, through social media, and in the newer forms of audio journalism in podcast form. Digital transformation doesn’t have to mean devolution of what’s come before. 

Launched in 1888, the pink paper of the Financial Times is synonymous with financial and business journalism. It has since amassed over one million subscriptions, providing our award-winning and trusted journalism to individuals across the globe. Now, more than ever, professionals believe in the FT for unbiased facts and insights about the world of finance and business.

But of course, with the age of digital, we've seen many newspapers beginning to struggle. Some, like the FT, saw this change coming long ago, and launched digital iterations of their papers, to ensure they kept up with our growing need for to-the-minute journalism. Others depend on digital advertising (which has waned in recent years), or like the FT, have adopted subscription models. We don’t see digital as removing our need for the newspaper. Digital transformation can be defined here as adding another element to news distribution. A reader from Google told the FT:

If I could I would read every article that’s hosted on FT.com’s homepage, but sadly there’s never enough time.

AnonymousEmployee at Google

The Financial Times newspaper condenses all the material you need for financial and business news on a day-to-day basis. FT.com allows you to explore that little bit further to see what more information you need to boost your credibility with clients, and inform you and your team about global and local issues. Utilising both enables you to be a thought leader. 

With this digital evolution comes with its own challenges. As with every journalistic establishment, the FT is competing across multiple online platforms - from online versions of the print articles, blog posts such as this, social media posting, email alerts and video content.

With the sheer amount of content and news available to the viewer, what digital offers is a level of personalisation. Print newspapers gives you the perfect breakdown of the content of the day, and ensure you are up to speed across the board in finance and in business. Online, you can choose the content that matters to you, what insights make you tick, and what breaking news you need to know about to make informed business decisions. 

Through the use of email alerts for the most important news, to myFT for topic tracking, to specify what news you need to know about, the FT is working hard to condense all that noise into the perfect stream of content for you to absorb. 

I appreciate FT Newsletters and email briefings, which gives me the chance to follow all the news without having to browse the whole portal.

Pedro ToméBanco de Portugal, Adviser at the Monetary Policy Operations Risk Unit

Print is not dying. Every day, there are companies being set up to target the markets of those who still want to read a physical newspaper, and the FT will continue to operate on the physical and digital fronts. What the FT will also continue to do, however, is evolve with the digital age, and here’s five of our top ten ways to get the most out of FT.com.

Get the most out of FT.com

  • Use myFT: Add topics, people, journalists, regions and more to your myFT so you can track the stories important to you;
  • Email alerts: Set up instant alerts or daily or weekly email digests on the topics you follow;
  • The FT App: Download the FT app to your Apple or Android device so you can read the FT while travelling, on-the-go or even when you're in the air;
  • Newsletters: Subscribe to our curated email newsletters on a range of topics, for insight and unique commentary from our editors straight to your inbox;
  • Markets: Use the Markets Data tool to build charts and see the impact of events on share prices.

You can read our full list here.

What is unique to the FT in terms of daily coverage, is the combination of depth and the geographical scope or breadth. This is quite hard to match even, by close rivals.

Alain PillouxEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Vice President of Banking

Digital does not mean the death of print. It just offers other avenues for you to consume the most trusted news globally, on the medium that suits you.

This is part one of our Digital Transformation in Media series. Check out part two on audio content here.

To find out how you can equip your team with the highest quality journalism, and to enhance their knowledge of their industry, contact one of our sales support teams here

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