MEDIA: Changes at Economist/FT

Two of financial publishing's most respected titles are to shake up their approach to key editorial sections.

The Economist, the global news and business publication, is to boost its coverage of UK companies, while The Financial Times is set to expand its Comment and Analysis section.

Edward Lucas has taken up the newly-created role of special business correspondent at The Economist, writing in its section on domestic affairs, Britain.

He reports to Britain editor Emma Duncan. She said: 'There are some exciting issues going on in British business which overlap with political issues.

My feeling was that really good stories were not being covered.'

Around 150,000 of The Economist's 870,000 worldwide readers are UK-based.

'It is a global magazine but circulation is skewed towards Britain. US business features large but British business doesn't feature often enough to satisfy British readers. We hope to boost that with Edward's arrival and we have introduced two to three pages of British editorial,' Duncan said.

Lucas, formerly the magazine's Moscow bureau chief, said: 'What we are really looking at is the overlap between public policy, business and real life. These are all strands we cover, although this will be pulling them together.'

The impact of government regulation and environmental issues on British manufacturing would be key areas of interest: 'I am particularly interested in concrete examples of where government interaction with business produces unintended consequences,' he said.

Meanwhile from next week, the FT is expanding its Comment pages, which are overseen by features editor John Gapper. They will comprise leaders, diaries and two columnists each weekday.

A new Analysis page, edited by James Montgomery, will appear each day and will carry special reports, investigations and longer articles. FT editor Andrew Gowers said the paper 'aims not only to report the news, but also to help its readers recognise its significance'.

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