Gradual evolution at the Financial Times

by
FinancialTimes

Columbia Journalism Review‘s Dean Starkman interviewed Financial Times managing editor Martin Dickson about the paper and its future.

Here is an excerpt:

Dickson: That is part of what we want to do. We have to address a huge range of reader demands, from very short instant market blogs at one end to investigative reporting at the other. We are placing increasing emphasis on our investigative reporting.

CJR: Is that so?

Dickson: Yeah. [FT top editor] Lionel Barber, two years ago now, hired Christine Spolar…She’s a great American investigative reporter, who now heads up our investigative reporting unit. Under her leadership, we’ve run some really great, in-depth series over the past year or two. I don’t know if you recall the tax law series we did with ProPublica, which won an Overseas Press Club award…That’s one example. The LIBOR scandal—we played a leading role in reporting on that, both in terms of reporting and then in-depth analysis of how it worked and what it means…Hopefully, it would be wonderful if one of these days, we got a Pulitzer. Another thing I’d point out, which is very much in the mainstream of what we do, is the series on Amazon we did earlier this year. Amazon is not a company known for being terribly liberal with its relations with the press… I think that shows a pretty major commitment to investigation. And that took months put together.

CJR: Is that a cultural change for [the FT]?

Dickson: It’s been a gradual evolution. There’s been a constant desire to do investigative reporting. You go back 20 years, or 15, 20 years, we had an investigations unit which did some very good work. But there’s been very much a new emphasis on it since Lionel took over as editor. He has really pushed this agenda.

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