Online journalists from around the UK have formed a group to share knowledge and ideas on innovation and production.
Founded jointly by Cumbria’s News and Star newspaper and the University of Central Lancashire, Digital Editors Network aims to let web news publishers debate issues that are often sidelined in wider journalism discussions.
“There’s a need for a different level of discussion for people delivering the online strategy for media companies,” founder Nick Turner, News and Star’s head of digital development, told Journalism.co.uk.
“Editors might have discussions at Society of Editors meetings with big speakers, but there is a whole group of other people who have got to make things work and might have questions about software or what might drive traffic.”
Currently centred primarily on a group weblog and claiming support from newspaper groups and the Society of Editors, Turner hopes to expand the facility to incorporate member profiles and social networking components.
Whilst the newspaper industry has always been fiercely competitive, and tends to guard its competitive advantages, an injection of online community may give regional online news outlets a leg up. Until the revamp, anyone interested can participate at the blog.
“I was recently looking for a new content management system and, through this network, I was able to speak to some people who are already using software from some of the companies we are looking at,” he added.
“When editors meet, they are juggling print and online. But, if you get digital editors together, you quickly exchange a lot of nuts and bolts information at a different level. The quickest way to move forward is to share experiences, otherwise we’re going to be losing out to bigger competitors.”