Saturday, January 28, 2012

Radio from the printing press

Audio used to be the property of radio. But these times are gone. Newspapers are crossing the borders. Francesca Panetta (The Guardian), head of audio, has been a radio maker for a long time, before she went to the Guardian five years ago. Today she and her team produce 30 minutes podcasts ("intelligent high quality audio") of all kinds, including documentaries. Successfully: The Guardian website counts 375.000 listeners a week.

Usually the print journalists come up with the ideas and topics, whereas the radio journalists do the audio and video programmes. Multimedia is a growing part of the company (costs: £ 3M/year), Panetta says, and their task is to implement the Guardian's "Digital First" strategy. Multimedia projects, audio slides, an IP TV channel, long format TV - "the Guardian, 190 years old, is a very agile company", as Panetta puts it. "They are not afraid of failures. When I came there was just a newspaper website. 'Launch something else', they said to me. And we do. It's a really exciting place to be."

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