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Interview with Julian March, Executive Producer, Sky News Online

On Thursday 26 February, AOP hosted a forum looking at how new editorial technologies are shaping multimedia publishing. Before the event, we caught up with one of the speakers, Julian March, Executive Producer, Sky News Online, to discuss how the editorial process has evolved over the years.

Download speaker presentations from AOP's forum on editorial technologies - AOP members only. // Read AOP's summary of the event

Q. How has the shift towards digital media changed the way editorial teams work, compared to the pre-Internet days?

Julian March, Sky
Nowadays editorial teams have to deliver for multiple platforms simultaneously. That means a TV correspondent in Beijing having to file an online article and a radio piece at the same time as he files his VT.

More specifically our online team has to be aware that the content it produces through the publishing system for the website also finds its way onto train station billboards, air passenger screens and the websites of commercial radio stations.

Q. Has digital media been in any way a hindrance to editorial standards and practices?

Digital media has accelerated the rate at which news breaks, whether it be through Twitter or a SMS text alert - therefore the audience's expectations have been proportionately ramped up. While that might mean we're under more pressure to deliver, we will not compromise on being right as well as being first.

We are first for breaking news on television and online, and that's not without sourcing our information and doing our own journalism. As for copyright, it becomes an even hotter issue, not least because web content is cached - it is less ephemeral than TV output. Litigation lawyers have their eyes on the web more than ever before.

Q. Is the technology keeping up with demand from editorial? How can technology improve the way content is created and delivered?

We pride ourselves on innovating, pushing the envelope and pushing our developers! The combination of news and information is extremely powerful.

At the moment we are only as fast as our caching structure and the click-by-click publishing process will allow. Added to which, sites become a victim of their own success: A bigger audience means bigger loads, wider bandwidth etc...

Q. How do you think a typical editorial team will look and work in five years time? What are the main trends and changes to look out for?

If I knew that a) I wouldn't tell you here, b) I'd be a rich man! But seriously... think multi-platform, think intelligent content management, think massively reduced production costs, live video by mobile? Who knows?

Julian March spoke at the AOP Forum ‘Editorial technologies shaping multimedia publishing' on 26 Feb 2009 at IPC Media in London -

Download speaker presentations from AOP's forum on editorial technologies - AOP members only. // Read AOP's summary of the event

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