As we move into a new year, the FT is investing more in its reporting on the most in-demand and essential news topics. Through those editorial priorities, as well as the development of new products and business tools, we're looking to ensure subscribers not only have access to world-class news coverage, but can also apply that in a growing number of ways.
This post explores what the FT has been prioritising, and how we're looking to continue to add value for readers.
The FT editorial focus
We're publishing more editorial content on the topics that matter most to our audience, and in particular the big themes impacting business.
It has been an extraordinary year for the FT. Our journalism continues to go from strength to strength. I'm proud to say we received multiple international awards and commendations. This is a testament to the consistently high quality of our news and analysis.Financial Times Editor
Our vaccine tracker attracted huge international attention as it helped readers understand the speed and success of rollouts around the world.
The rise of cryptocurrencies
Much is still uncertain about what the rise of crypto might eventually lead to, but the FT has kept readers informed on the fast-changing digital asset market, including China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and what influences cryptocurrency values.
The FT’s analysis has helped readers understand the impacts of climate change from a business, economic and political perspective. Take a look at the Climate Capital video below where FT writers and experts discuss Elon Musk's climate record and ask whether his green credentials stack up.
China and the world
The FT provides in-depth analysis on China’s significant role in the world’s economy. Much of the world’s economic and environmental issues cannot be solved without engagement with China.
The FT is my source for global news. When dealing with a lot of international clients, there is a singular need to stay informed. Whether it's news in Europe, US or in China, the FT is widely read for a reason: its accuracy.Deputy General Manager, Citi Orient Securities Company
Future of technology
As technology continues to impact all aspects of modern society, the FT has explored the implications of tech advancement across industries. The FT’s innovation editor John Thornhill leads the discussion in the Tech Tonic podcast.
Visit the FT's technology hub & listen to Tech Tonic
Our most impactful scoops this year
The access of the FT's editorial team to senior leaders in business and politics provides unique opportunities to surface stories for readers that they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. The FT is renowned for publishing exclusive content and scoops that move markets. As all stories are double-sourced, they're also instantly trustworthy.
Below are a few examples of top-read FT scoops from 2021:
I’ve read the FT for over 20 years and it is one of the best and most efficient ways to obtain information having unparalleled global coverage. The FT is crucial to ensuring I read unbiased, objective and trustworthy news.Senior Counsel - Finance, Baker Botts LLP
Applying innovation to journalism
While the editorial team is focused on reporting the biggest global stories impacting business, it's also been committed to bringing these stories to readers in new formats that can enhance understanding or unpick complex situations more easily. This has included email briefings, as well as audio content and data visualisation.
There's also been a push to produce more long form, original journalism in different styles:
- News in-depth
Readers can explore the news in-depth where topic expert journalists draw significant conclusions on stories and events.
Explainers provide a background explanation to a storyline that might be complex in its nature, ensuring news stories are accessible and understood by all readers.
- Deep dive
Long form in-depth reporting focuses on topics across the news providing readers with a valuable resource of information for complicated topics. The FT’s Big Read section is expanding its long form coverage.
Features are home to content distinguished from other genres by its leisurely pace, length and narrative approach. In turn, features provide an element of the news to readers as well as humanise, educate and entertain.
The FT works hard to provide our subscribers with journalism that helps them make informed business decisions. Their trust is our priority. We are ending the year with a strong momentum and will continue to produce award-winning journalism as we head into 2022.Financial Times Editor
New email briefings and audio content
Newsletters covering topics ranging from ESG to the business of sport are already part of the FT's offering, and this stable of specially curated briefings is growing. Part of the FT's appeal is its way of distilling lots of information sources and then delivering the key things readers need to know in a concise and entertaining way. Email newsletters and podcasts offer an ideal outlet for doing this, as proven by some of our most popular new briefings and podcasts launched this year:
- Europe Express
This newsletter distills the latest news driving the European agenda with our team of European specialists. Sign up here.
Robert Armstrong dissects the most important market trends and discusses how Wall Street's best minds respond to them. Sign up here.
- Disrupted Times
This is an essential newsletter on business and the economy in a world transformed by the pandemic. Sign up here.
- Working it Podcast
This podcast looks at how we’re working differently and explores ahead-of-the-curve workplace trends, the big ideas shaping work today — and the old habits we need to leave behind. Listen to the latest episode here.
- FT Weekend Podcast
Hosted by Lilah Raptopoulos, this podcast showcases inspiring conversations, in-depth storytelling, and escapism. Listen to the latest episode here.
Immersive storytelling through data journalism
Data journalism is another key reason why readers subscribe to ft.com. Now more than ever, richer data visualisation enhances articles on FT.com and in our apps.
Statistics and charts provide deeper insight into news stories and aim to help readers interpret data at pace. By covering in-depth statistical issues and producing original analysis, data journalism helps readers to get the maximum understanding from FT content.
By using more graphics and visuals in FT content, readers can easily digest the information in front of them and use it to make better and more informed decisions. Here are a few of the most popular recent examples:
We know a lot of our readers are under time constraints and may only have a few minutes to look over an article. Our charts are designed to help readers get the maximum information out of our charts in a short period of time. Then with the aid of chart interactivity, this allows people to explore in more detail and discover their own findings.Senior Data Visualisation Journalist, Financial Times
New products to support corporate subscribers
We are continually listening to feedback and gathering insights from corporate subscribers about their information challenges. New ways of working gathered pace during the onset of the pandemic, and the FT developed new products and features to help organisations adjust to the increasingly digital nature of work.
Additional content sharing capabilities though Enterprise Sharing and an integration with Microsoft Teams both address the need for organisations to keep employees well-informed on stories related to their industry or adjacent sectors. The FT Community pillar focuses on enabling professionals to network and providing online spaces for knowledge exchange. The first of these is a new community for members of company boards.
The launch of Enterprise Sharing has enabled customers to share FT articles more widely with clients and colleagues. Enterprise Sharing allows for frictionless sharing of FT article links, regardless of whether recipients have FT login credentials or not. By sharing FT’s analysis and insights, subscribers can initiate conversations, build relationships or spark debate.
A day rarely passes when we do not share articles by FT journalists to provide and provoke valuable discussion points, both within the firm and externally with clients.Chairman, Headland Consultancy
Integration with Microsoft Teams
Continuing along the theme of frictionless sharing and collaboration, corporate subscribers can now integrate FT content into Microsoft Teams. The integration with Teams allows users to facilitate remote discussions and use the FT as a reference point for new ideas or potential risks.
FT Board Director
FT Board Director is an example of a newly-launched FT Community and offers members the latest intelligence for corporate boards, virtual events and practical peer-to-peer networking.
Members receive weekly email briefings with news and resources for boards and the option to attend regular virtual events where world-class speakers discuss future challenges and opportunities. In addition to attending events, members can take part in ‘Chatham House style’ virtual discussions where members share experience, expertise and solutions with other board members.
With access to topics most important to them, members access an authoritative space to discover, debate and exchange ideas across board matters, strategy, risk, corporate governance, ESG and technology. With the latest intelligence at hand, boardroom leaders are equipped to navigate challenges and lead in their business.
What have we been learning from our customers?
Our client-facing teams are always speaking with our customers in order to better understand their needs and how their FT Group Subscription is providing value. A recurring theme in those customer conversations more recently has been the requirement for collective intelligence. Virl Hill is head of worldwide business development & strategy at Microsoft and explained the importance of providing all employees with trustworthy news sources.
“It’s very difficult to discern legitimacy and illegitimacy in today’s world.” He said. “For trusted brands like the FT, it’s more important than ever for those publications to reassert that value proposition and reassert that they are the places where you look for the truth.”
The Financial Times is credible, and it’s reliable, and it’s an information source that I can trust. Microsoft employees can and will benefit from access to the FT, because there’s just such a wealth of information available to them from the FT.Partner Success Manager, Microsoft
It could be argued that the need for accurate, global coverage is perhaps heightened further in the context of advising clients. At EY Japan, an FT Group Subscription ultimately equips the firm with the knowledge to provide better strategic guidance. Global client service partner, Andrew Cowell outlined the importance of demonstrating commercial awareness in external conversations. “Speaking to a client and being able to reference that you saw something in an FT article, and making those links, just makes everything you’re saying even more current and relevant.” He explained.
Alongside enhancing commercial awareness to support client conversations, the FT’s ability to make connections between sectors and regions has also helped in identifying emerging trends, opportunities and risks. Brian Maddox is a senior managing director for corporate communications at FTI Consulting and reads the FT for its monitoring and explanation of the impact of trends.
“Three things may make a trend but it matters considerably which three things you’re picking,” Brian observes. “The FT is a trustworthy source that isn’t driven by a political agenda.”
While the awards won over the past year are evidence of the strength of the FT’s journalism, the ultimate validation comes from those customers who continue to recognise the benefits of high-quality market intelligence. By investing in new tools, features and reporting on the topics that matter most to readers, we’re confident that the FT will drive even more value for subscribers heading into 2022 and well beyond.
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