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How Daily Post moved from 99 per cent focus on print to become ‘multimedia’ newsroom

By Darren Boyle

A digital editor at Trinity Mirror has revealed how titles in Wales have moved from being "99 per cent" focused on print.

Dan Owen, digital editor at the Daily Post in Wales, told this week's Digital Editors Network conference at News UK's Wapping HQ how he introduced Trinity Mirror's Newsroom 3.0 strategy.

The Trinity Mirror publication has 35 to 40 journalists and publishes a daily newspaper six days a week as well as three weeklies.

He said: "Before Newsroom 3.0, 99 percent of our energy was print-focused. Now we have created a multimedia newsroom.

"This requires major structural changes and introducing new ways of working. We had to redefine what a reporter was, the new newsdesk role and photographers.

"We have one reporter who has been with us since the 1960s who started by sending her copy to the printer on a bus and is now using Twitter."

Owen said content had to be tailored to the particular platform and that it was no longer a case of just repurposing print copy.

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"We want our operations to be transparent and make the reader feel part of the operation.

"The biggest change we faced was the introduction of a breaking news team.  The team has three or four  people. They are the key people behind our breaking news blog.

"They cover everything from courts and traffic to weather.

"The social element is the key behind its success. We need to engage in conversation with people."

Owen said: "In the old newsroom we were still working around print deadlines with reporters coming in for a 9am start, having a cup of tea and going through the daily edition. It was a very set pace.

"We haven't gone 24/7. There is no desire for it at the moment, but we have moved to seven day-coverage for 17/18 hours a day."

 Owen claimed social networks are central to the conversation and engagement with the reader.

"A conversational tone is critical in keeping the breaking news blog updated. We want our readers to return several times a day.

"We are no longer producing stories and pictures but packages. All we are doing is telling a story. There was a fear of something different. People needed to be skilled in using the new techniques. People trained at their desks could see results immediately.

"Five years ago we gave everyone video phones but it was so time-consuming it was too much of a burden."

He said that now reporters are equipped with smartphones and the newspaper has technology which means pictures and videos automatically drop in a content folder in the office.

Owen said that over the past four months, the Daily Post's website has 200k page impressions a week.

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