The Coventry Telegraph is to relaunch its website next month following “a complete review” of its digital offering by new editor David Brookes.
In his first public speech since taking over from Alan Kirby at the beginning of January, Brookes said he wanted to increase traffic by at least 50 per cent by the end of the year.
Speaking to journalism students at Coventry University yesterday, he said: “The web will leap forward in exciting ways that we couldn’t possibly perceive.”
Describing the new-look website, Brookes said: “It will give us more entry points on homepages, more content online, proper sign-posting of content, and more opportunities for readers and users to interact with us.
“It will also give more commercial opportunities for advertising online with video and soundslides, links, banners and buttons.”
Brookes said he was looking to introduce more user-generated content and provide greater interaction between journalists and readers.
“I want to make better use of video and picture galleries, blogs and forums. I am committed to growing our online audience,” he said.
Further development work is also underway on the Coventry Telegraph mobile site, which allows readers to see news and sport headlines on the move.
“More people will be using the internet for their news consumption, and yes, fewer people will be buying newspapers,” Brookes told students.
‘There will be casualties, meaning fewer newspapers, and fewer newspaper companies.”
He added that the internet would “profoundly change” what goes into print.
“Thanks to the web, newspapers can be better, and those that do survive will have to adapt,” Brookes said.
‘This will be achieved by restructuring, by reinventing the newsroom, and by using the digital revolution to our advantage.
“I’m not going to be the last editor of this newspaper. I am absolutely sure of that.”
Brookes is a former editor of the Birmingham Sunday Mercury and joined the Coventry Telegraph in the new year following Alan Kirby’s retirement.
According to the latest regional newspaper ABCs, the Coventry Telegraph’s average daily circulation was 43,594 in the second half of 2008 – down 7.1 per cent year on year.