MEDIA: FT set to 'humanise' stories

The Financial Times's freshly appointed news editor said this week that its stories would be 'humanised' to heighten their impact.

Robert Shrimsley, who replaced George Parker in the paper's top news role this week, said there would be no 'seismic changes' in the FT's coverage of national news, but insisted there would be greater use of relevant real-life examples.

'That is something you will see a lot of. We will be illustrating our stories, where appropriate, with case studies. We want to show how our stories affect people, not policy-makers,' he explained.

Jargon will be largely avoided when presenting complex stories, he maintained: 'We will present the news in a way that makes it accessible but we have no intention of dumbing down. I want to make sure that, when we decide that a story is important, we go after it hard.'

He added: 'I think the balance is about right between business and news.'

Shrimsley said he would welcome e-mail approaches from PROs, but said: 'It is a little galling when you are on deadline to get a call about something that is happening several weeks hence and which you know you have no intention of covering anyway.'

Shrimsley joined the FT as chief political correspondent in 2000. Before that, he worked for ten years at The Daily Telegraph, the last eight of them in the Westminster lobby. Prior to that he spent a year at The Sunday Telegraph.

Former news editor Parker has been made FT's Brussels bureau chief.

Elsewhere at the FT, there will be an enforced reshuffle as media correspondent Ashling O'Connor joins The Times at the end of May. Her brief is to develop a new niche for the paper, combining sport and business.

The FT sells 480,000 copies a day in the UK and claims it has a global circulation of 1.8 million.

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