Standard site gets serious with news

While most newspapers have revamped their websites to break news throughout the day, the Evening Standard's website, thisislondon.co.uk, has been something of an anomaly.

Contrasting with the newspaper's coverage of London and City news, business, travel and property, thisislondon.co.uk has been heavily focused on entertainment, listings, celeb gossip and lifestyle.

A sub-site, standard.co.uk, housed news, but until the recent mayoral elections it was not given much focus. Now things have changed. Standard.co.uk has put breaking news top of the agenda and thisislondon.co.uk has become a channel of the main website.

'The idea of an entertainment site as an accompanying site was confusing to people,' admits Andrew Mullins, managing director of the Evening Standard. 'There's likely to be a wider range of the Standard's content now, and it will be up faster, so there's opportunity to broaden the impact. Previously you would have to wait until the Evening Standard was on the market before you could find any news on the website, but now you'll see it from 9am.'

Mullins expects around one million unique UK users of standard.co.uk per month initially. Taking into account users from abroad, the figure is likely to be nearer three million.

Other features include opportunities for readers to give online views on news stories and issues, including Evening Standard campaigns such as Beating Knife Crime and Save our Small Shops.

The new focus on breaking news means more opportunities for PROs currently used to dealing with the Standard's print deadlines.

'If we have a story to push, we won't be fixed to the 9.30am deadline. It should make things easier for us,' says Fiona Chow, head of news at 3 Monkeys. The move to prioritise breaking news 'should have been made years ago', she adds.

David Brown, head of editorial at Octane PR, agrees: 'The Evening Standard has taken a long, hard look at itself in the light of fierce competition from the free newspapers and has come up with a winning package. Readers can still access thisislondon.co.uk easily, although there is more of a focus on serious news.'

The Standard currently has the highest AB profile in London and biggest circulation of any national paper in the capital, barring the Daily Mail.

While Mullins acknowledges 'we're not the BBC or The Guardian', the Standard is widely viewed as more of a national paper than a regional one.

'When it comes to London and City stories, it is a national publication,' agrees Chow. 'It has always been a top-tier target for many of our clients as it has some of the best-known writers in the field.'

Quick facts

Website standard.co.uk
Demographic A breakdown of website traffic shows 78 per cent of visitors are ABC1.
Unique users per month 946,000

Contacts

Editor Veronica Wadley editor@standard.co.uk
Assistant editor (news) Ian Walker
News editor Hugh Dougherty news@standard.co.uk

 

A minute with ... Andrew Mullins, managing director, Evening Standard

- Why the change?

People expect newspapers to have news channel sites. Previously we had the entertainment site, thisislondon.co.uk, as the primary site, and within that we built a sub-site: the news channel standard.co.uk. We have finally made the commitment to put news as the focus, and thisislondon.co.uk has become a channel within standard.co.uk.

- What can we expect from standard.co.uk?

We will be covering news from when people get into work and publishing it on the web. We've gone from being a three-edition newspaper to breaking news from 9am.

- Are you open to PR pitches?

In terms of journalistic routes, people should continue to go to the same contacts. We're incredibly London-friendly and we would like to be the first with breaking news stories relevant to London. That could be London content or content relevant to people who work in London. We're a paper read by working Londoners so we need a spin on stories to make them relevant.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.