NS hails traffic boost as Bernstein made digital director

The New Statesman now claims to have more than twice the monthly web traffic of rival political weekly The Spectator.

The NS revealed its web numbers yesterday as it announced the news that deputy editor Jon Bernstein was being promoted to digital director of Progressive Media International.

NS assistant editor Helen Lewis has been promoted to deputy editor and Caroline Crampton is being recruited from Total Politics to join the team as web editor.

According to the NS, monthly unique visitors to Newstatesman.com topped 800,000 in the first quarter of 2012, up 230 per cent in the space of less than three years.

The NS noted in a release yesterday that the Spectator quotes a website traffic figure of 380,000 unique users per month for 2011.

Exclusives which have boosted NS traffic include: Hugh Grant's undercover recording of a former News of the World journalist, the publication of a newly discovered poem by Ted Hughes, the Archbishop of Canterbury's attack on the Coalition Government, Christopher Hitchens's final interview (conducted by Richard Dawkins) and David Miliband's essay on 'Reassurance'Labour.

Bernstein was appointed deputy editor of New Statesman in November 2009, splitting his role between the magazine and online, and was instrumental in launching the Staggers rolling blog. Guest bloggers brought in since then include Laurie Penny, David Allen Green and Rowenna Davis.

The NS publishes the majority of its magazine content for free online after it has first appeared in print. The NS has also greatly increased the amount of content it produces for online-only with the launch of new sections like media and business.

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley said: 'These changes follow a period of excellent progress for newstatesman.com. Jon, who will continue to be a valued colleague, leaves behind a redesigned and reinvigorated web operation, and I'm sure Helen, for whom I have the highest regard, will build on his success. Caroline was with us as an intern and I have monitored her progress at Total Politics. It's great to have her back on the staff.'

Press Gazette, like New Statesman, is part of the Progressive Media group.

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