'Hear all about it' as the Telegraph launches podcast

By
Dominic Ponsford Eleven years ago The Daily Telegraph was the first
British national newspaper to launch a website, and this week it became
the first to offer readers a daily “podcast”.

New-media director
Annelies van den Belt admitted lifting the idea from BBC Radio 4’s
Today programme and told Press Gazette that Telegraph staff had the
daily podcast up and running within 10 days of the idea being mooted.

It follows the launch last month of a text news service for BlackBerry-style email mobile phones.

The
podcast consists of a 20-minute sound file that can be downloaded to a
computer and either played on a desktop or downloaded to a digital
music player.

Tuesday’s podcast consisted of Martin Johnson’s
sport column and Celia Walden’s Spy diary section read by actors; and
Roy Greenslade reading out his media column.

The decision over
what will go in the next day’s podcast is made at the 4pm editorial
conference. So far it has consisted of columnists themselves or actors
reading out content from the day’s paper, but van den Belt said the
Telegraph may also start producing unique content for the podcast.

Van den Belt joined the Telegraph 12 weeks ago after resigning as digital director of Times Newspapers.

She
said the project was part of her brief to “integrate new media into
everything we do” and added that more projects were in the pipeline,
aimed at exploiting Telegraph content and the Telegraph brand on
different media platforms.

Van den Belt said there were no plans
to charge for the podcast service, but added: “We want to build up a
loyal community of people who listen to us every day; if that’s large
and loyal there will be other ways of generating revenue which we can
exploit.”

Editor Martin Newland said: “I believe in The Daily Telegraph as a printed, broadsheet quality newspaper.

But
I believe also there are many other avenues in which content produced
by Telegraph journalists – the best in the country – can reach the
consumer.

“With our podcast, those wanting access to some of the
best writing and opinion in the country now have the chance to sample
the full ‘flavour’ of that day’s newspaper, to experience the full
range of the editorial enterprise, from comment to humour to analysis
to news digests. In many cases the voice you will be hearing is that of
the person actually writing the piece for the Telegraph. To read Simon
Heffer or John Inverdale is one thing. To hear them reading themselves,
wherever you want, whenever you want, is quite another.”

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