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October 28, 2014updated 29 Oct 2014 9:06pm

Mail Online sets out global ambition as it plans to get ‘boots on the ground’ around the world

By William Turvill

Mail Online has set out plans for global expansion, pledging to get “boots on the ground” across the world and is recruiting for a new international newsdesk.

Publisher Martin Clarke said Mail Online is to “start sending reporters to the biggest world stories wherever they happen in the globe”.

He said that as part of a “big editorial investment we’ll be making next year”, Mail Online will be launching a “new default homepage for the rest of the world that showcases the best of our material from the UK, US and [Australia], but loses quite frankly the slightly parochial content that's only really of interest in those countries”.

Announcing the plans for expansion in 2015, Clarke said that the website’s Australian office, which was opened earlier this year, “gives us a strategic base from which to cover the Far East both commercially and editorially”.

“Now one thing that has struck us over and over again over the last few years as we've expanded into new countries is that the sweet spot for MailOnline, at least editorially, are the big global stories that transcend national boundaries,” he said.

“Now just like showbiz – I'm not talking about showbiz here; I'm talking about the serious stories – stories like the missing jet, MH370, the shooting down of MH17, the rise of Isis, Ebola, Gaza and those missing girls in Nigeria.

“They get read voraciously around the world, over and over again. But we only have to write them once.

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“These stories fascinate people everywhere, and Mail Online spots them early and owns them. But we need more boots on the ground, just like we've got in America. And just like in America where we've grown the team by hiring experienced, hard-bitten reporters who can travel to the bigger stories of the week in the States, so we're going to start sending reporters to the biggest world stories wherever they happen in the globe.

“And that will involve hiring more reporters, not just in America, but in Australia and in London, as well as obviously utilising the brilliant resource of the Daily Mail's experienced reporters.”

Clarke made the presentation to investors last month. Last week, Mail Online began advertising for positions on a “new international news desk”.

“We are looking for experienced and talented reporters to chase exclusive angles, cover breaking news and generate fresh ideas,” it said.

“You should have a strong interest in international news and substantial newsroom experience. Successful candidates should also have a track record of finding and breaking your own stories and be hungry to find exclusive lines on issues from Ebola to Isis to Kim Jong Un. 

“The role is primarily office-based with the opportunity for travel for the right candidates. Applicants must be able to deliver vibrant, clean copy to very tight deadlines.”

Mail Online currently claims to recieve 180m monthly visitors across the world and publishes around 900 stories a day.

According to the presentation given by Clarke, Mail Online currently employs 395 people in London, 121 in New York, 52 in Sydney and 40 in Los Angeles. Of these, 400 staff are editorial.

There are currently around 80 journalists based in New York, and US editor Katherine Thomson said she hopes 25 to 30 more will join in the next year. Some 27 showbiz journalists, meanwhile, are currently based in Los Angeles.

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