INM ANNOUNCES €250,000 DIGITAL TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR EMPLOYEES

Dublin 22nd September 2015: An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD., today formally opened the new digital-led news hub for Independent News & Media. Located at the company’s Talbot Street office in Dublin 1, this new centralised news hub will facilitate and manage editorial and content for the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Herald, Sunday World and Independent.ie.

The development of the centralised news desk follows a thorough examination of the editorial systems in Talbot Street, and the project was implemented after considerable research into international best practice around the operation of modern newsrooms in a rapidly changing environment in news publishing.

The development of a centralised news desk has been accompanied by a re-design of the newsroom and has been supported by significant investment in technology and training. A key benefit of the new model is that reporting from the shared newsroom is now available across all titles.  At the same time, the editors of each title retain full independence, with core journalistic teams on each title and significant resources to commission, produce and direct content for their respective newspapers.

Stephen Rae, Group Editor-in- Chief, Independent News & Media said: “We studied the best newsrooms across the globe and the content hub we’ve developed here was specifically designed for INM. The launch of the ‘platform neutral’ newsroom follows a period of considerable change for the editorial team in Talbot Street.  Our journalists and digital team have risen to the challenge and are delivering top quality journalism across all our platforms from the central newsroom. Our online and editorial teams now operate from the one floor. This mix of journalists and digital experts in the one space will drive our technology focus and lead to the best online offering available,” he said.

“I would like to pay tribute to both the editorial and commercial management for the successful delivery of the project in a very short time-frame,” said Leslie Buckley, Chairman, Independent News & Media.  “It can be safely asserted that INM now has the most modern fit-for- purpose news management system in this country.  However, it is important that we will continue to innovate and change in an ever evolving market environment.”

“Earlier in the year, the board gave a commitment to management and staff in INM, that it would ensure they would have the opportunity to learn the skills that will enable them to work into the future in this rapidly changing digital era,” said Leslie Buckley.  “I am therefore pleased to announce an investment of €250,000 in a new digital training and education programme with the National College of Ireland. Financed fully by INM, this initiative is sure to benefit our teams across the whole INM Group and ultimately the consumers of our news content.”

In 2015, INM introduced a graduate programme for the editorial department in which it has recruited fifteen graduates, fourteen in the Republic of Ireland and one in Northern Ireland.  The graduates are now in place across the various newsroom and online departments in Talbot Street and Belfast. The INM graduate initiative is the only such programme in Ireland certified by the Press Association in London and it is an investment by INM in the future of the profession, not just its own operations.

2.4 million combined readers connect each week in print and online with the Irish Independent, The Herald, The Sunday Independent and the Sunday World.  INM accounts for 50% of the quality daily market and 65% of the quality Sunday market. Across the Group’s web-sites total annual page impressions is anticipated to be in excess of one billion per annum, while unique monthly users reached more than 10 million for the month of July on Independent.ie.