FT’s Tilt Is A Pure-Play Digital News Site About Emerging Markets

The Financial Times is creating a separate, spin-off website covering emerging global markets.

We first reported about FT Tilt in July, when its purpose was unclear. Now we’ve learned from the publisher that: “The name ‘Tilt’ was inspired by the recognition that global economic and financial power are tilting south and east.”

Tilt will be based in New York but will staff bureau in regions including Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

The project is being led by some of the people who have made the FT’s Alphaville financial blog and community an award-winner – Paul Murphy (Alphaville’s founding editor) will be editor-in-chief, Alphaville correspondent Stacy-Marie Ishmael will be editor and Tom Brammar has been hired as managing director.

Like Alphaville, Tilt will include community elements which the FT says will provide a platform for thinkers and businessfolk to share views. It’s not clear whether Tilt will operate on subscriptions; currently, Alphaville’s blog and community feature, though not its morning newsletter, are outside FT.com’s paywall.

Now, it’s interesting why the Financial Times would take on a subject as significant as emerging markets and not simply make it part of its core propositionFT.com

Its counterpart the Wall Street Journal has been on a global expansion in Europe, Latin America and Asia – but using its main WSJ.com brand.

(Update: FT.com managing editor Robert Shrimsley points out that FT.com did add a BeyondBrics hub to cover emerging markets earlier this year – Tilt is a different model).

Tilt will be the seventh niche site the Financial Times’ publisher will have launched or acquired outside its flagship banner – but most of them target specific niche subsectors with industry-specific services, like pension information or investment analysis.

What’s clear is that Tilt is designed to imagine a news proposition that’s digital-only from the get-go

That fresh thinking appears to have liberated Alphaville since its 2006 launch, and the FT seems to want to do the same with Tilt. It’s hiring for journalists who, aside from having language skills, should be very online-savvy, and is seeking developers with HTML5 and CSS3 – two web technologies that, despite being in the wild, have not yet even been formally ratified.