Why stockbroker Capital.com is building a newsroom: 'Journalism was never publishing's main product' - Press Gazette

Why stockbroker Capital.com is building a newsroom: 'Journalism was never publishing's main product'

Why is online stockbroker Capital.com currently recruiting 30 journalists?

Press Gazette was intrigued by the number of vacancies being advertised and asked the site’s head of content Chris Wheal to explain the story behind the expansion.

Journalism needs to follow the money. That’s why I am recruiting journalists around the world to establish 24/7 global multimedia news and information services for two websites:  

  • Capital.com, covering stock markets, commodities and forex trading 
  • Currency.com, covering trading with more focus on cryptocurrencies.

Publishing was never about journalism 

Journalism has never been the product of the so-called publishing business. That’s hard for some journalists to swallow, but it’s true.  

Newspapers and magazines never sold journalism, they sold adverts. The product was not the contentbut the circulation list. Advertising sales staff sold access to that secret circulation list. The clue is in the name of many papers and trade mags – the Croydon Advertiser, the Morning Advertiser, even companies called The Advertiser Series. 

The role of journalists was to build and then maintain the circulation list. As long as the publisher was the exclusive owner of its circulation list, advertisers had to pay through the nose for access. The cover price – when there was one  was a token paid towards the distribution costs. 

Publishers in the slow lane 

Then Facebook, and Google, and social media, and bots, and crawlers, and spiders, and cookies, and artificial intelligence, and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all came along, and publishers no longer had exclusive access to their circulation lists.  

The tech giants knew more about the publisher’s circulation list than any publisher had ever dreamed of asking. As a result, an advertiser could get its digital advert in front of more of the right people and fewer of the wrong people for a fraction of the price of advertising in print. 

There is no point paying to maintain a circulation list that is no longer exclusive, so the maintenance department – journalists – faced job cuts. 

Cut out the middleman 

Some companies have realised they too can cut out the advertising intermediary and employ journalists direct. A company can build and maintain its own circulation list using the same techniques of old – great quality journalism.  

Top-notch writing, timely news and analysis, entertaining audio and video, plus in-depth features, build circulation online. You don’t have to stuff pieces full of keyword variations to have great search-engineoptimised results these days. 

We want to build strong news platforms with gripping and dynamic content about our markets and then engage with our communities and become trusted sources of news and entertainment. If we do that, instead of putting our circulation in touch with advertisers, we’ll be putting them in touch with our own company. We have simply cut out the middleman – the publishing company. 

Future perfect 

All the other rules are the same. Our news will be independent, our journalists fair, our coverage full. We will follow ethical codes and aim for the highest standards. 

And you don’t do that on the cheap, so graduate starting salaries will be £26K, with experienced journalists earning upwards of £30Kand seniors more like £40K. Heads of sections will get more on top. And we will need six desk editors – one on each website for each of the three time zones needed to operate 24 hours a day – and those will start at £60K. But as I said on LinkedIn: “Impress us if you’re worth more.” 

I need (all advertised on Press Gazette): 

Capital.com is a rapidly growing stockbroker, offering share trading and derivatives, with its younger stablemate, currency.com, focusing on tokenised assets and cryptocurrencies. Capital.com has just secured a fifth geographic trading licence and expects to expand into new markets, to become a truly global company. We are probably Europe’s fastest growing fintech. 

The money’s here. The jobs are here. Where are you? 

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