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Editor turned digital chief to spearhead podcasting initiative

alisongowThree new jobs are to be created in a major inititive to develop more local news audio content to be headed up by a former editor turned digital executive.

Alison Gow, digital innovation editor at Reach plc/Trinity Mirror for the past five years, is to become pubisher of Laudable, a Google-funded project aimed at turning podcasts and other audio content into a sustainable revenue stream.

Alison, pictured, will now be recruiting three journalists to work with her on the project, which earlier this year received a grant of 500,000 euros under Google’s digital news initiative.

The project will see publishers Reach and JPIMedia work with podcast platform Entale to develop a local news platform for audio content, work with newsrooms to develop audio concepts and deliver “compelling audio experience for local audiences in the UK”.

Announcing the news on Twitter, Alison wrote: “Really happy to say I have a new role…..which is awesome, as anyone who knows me also knows I obsess/bore on about a) podcasts b) local journalism and c) audience engagement.

“Also, I’ll be recruiting x3 journalists who are equally obsessed about podcasts, local news and audience engagement to work with me, so look out for a job shout from me soon.”

Before taking up her role in the central digital team in what is now Reach, Alison was editor of Wales on Sunday.

She is also a previous executive editror (digital) of the Liverpool Echo and deputy editor of its one-time sister morning title, the Liverpool Daily Post.

As well as creating new audio programmes in regional newsrooms, Laudable will have a particular focus on working with communities to identify ways of connecting people whose voices are not currently heard in local news.

The project will also pioneer new ways for local advertisers to connect with local audiences through audio.

A description of the project on the DNI website states: “Everyone knows podcasts and audio are increasing in popularity, but local news and information has yet to find a sustainable place in the audio world.

“Laudable aims to address this, working with publishers large and small to create sustainable audio content supported by revenue.”

7 comments

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  • July 10, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    I know it’s a digital world now but isn’t this yet another task waiting to be heaped on the few hard pressed hacks left? As well as finding and writing the story in the first place, they’re already expected to shoot video, take stills, post on Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, and still find time to fill out an exes form.

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  • July 10, 2019 at 11:45 am
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    Lensman
    That’s exactly what happened here when the new chief came in, jettisoned most togs and issued a directive about reporters needing to be more multi skilled in today’s new media world and surely being capable of taking camera phone pictures and vox pop pieces to ( phone) camera and uploading them. This was issued in an ‘or else’ manner which has since become something of a passive aggressive trademark.
    When publishers demand quantity not quality and speed over accuracy it’s all to be expected I guess

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  • July 10, 2019 at 11:54 am
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    As is made clear in the intro, lensman, Alison is recruiting a specific team to do this.

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  • July 10, 2019 at 1:23 pm
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    If three is enough to get this ambitious project off-the-ground nationally and generate the content required to make it a success, then so be it.
    Anyone who’s spent any time at the coal-face could be forgiven for suspecting it will form another exciting opportunity to lengthen their day with another time-consuming, profit-light duty.

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  • July 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm
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    Yes Paul Linford….just like there used to be specific teams of photographers…and sub-editors, remember those?

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  • July 11, 2019 at 10:43 am
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    What fantastic news. As someone at the helm of the digital revolution perhaps she can tell us how she made such a success of the news online. Illustrating it with facts of revenues, profit streams and the staffing levels.

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  • July 11, 2019 at 11:58 am
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    The thing with digital Percy Hoskins is that unlike other more traditional business models perceived ‘success’ is measured in popularity, attracting user comments, interaction and ‘likes’ …or ‘audience engagement’ as they like to call it, rather than cold hard cash, turn over and profit.

    All very well for a hobby or pass time, not much use if you’re running a business and having to fund payrolls and turn a profit, but when it’s not your money you’re using then of course nice fluffy things like being ‘obsessed’ with podcasts and encouraging no cost ‘audience engagement’ is all that matters.

    Remember when people bought a local paper and businesses queued up to pay to advertise to the tens of thousands of local readers the papers attracted?
    Me too

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