Times foreign desk to put stories on web first

The Times is to put foreign news stories up online before
they appear in the print version.

Times foreign correspondents will file copy as normal but
foreign desk editors will decide where the copy appears first, with copy
‘almost certain’ to appear online first.

Times online editor Peter Bale said: “ We think this is
actually a very small thing. It’s a very modest step but an important one to
integration, I suppose. It’ll mean we’ll make more effective use of our terrific
network of foreign correspondents and they overcome some of the restrictions of
space in the paper to some extent.”

Bale said: “An artificial six or seven o’clock deadline is
crazy for foreign news. We already put a lot of spot content up first, we’re
not totally reliant on agencies and so on. We’ve got a six-strong news desk and
a five strong business desk writing news writing real time news all the time
and there are quite a few stories that go onto online before they go into
paper.

He added: “But this is the first time we would have had an
offline desk effectively editing online copy in real time. From that point of
view there is some significance. It’ll give the foreign correspondents much
more exposure and a bigger place on the site hopefully.”

Last week the Guardian announced it would begin to file all
news stories on the newspaper's website up to 24 hours before they come out in
print. The Guardian will start initially with foreign and city stories but may
roll out the plans to the whole paper.

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