News: New Archant investigations and election units to produce in-depth content

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New Archant investigations and election units to produce in-depth content

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Two new Archant-wide editorial initiatives have been launched to help local teams produce in-depth investigative and election content for newspapers right across group.

An Archant Investigations Unit is being set up to provide content that has relevance and impacts the wider local communities which the company’s newspapers and news websites serve.

David Powles (pictured above), assistant editor Norfolk, has been appointed investigations editor and heads up the unit. His brief is to work closely with all editors in the group.

David said: “The stories that make a difference in our communities and stand out to the reader are often the ones that take the most time, research and investigation. This will allow us the space to do that and will bring in a raft of compelling content for our papers and websites.”

The team will comprise three or four journalists from across the business, seconded on a full-time or part-time basis, initially for nine months. Day-to-day, the team will work virtually, coming together for planning and reviews.

The unit, which will be operational in March, will research a number of issues, break its findings down to a local level and then pass the background information, graphics and key interviews to local teams.

The type of subjects the unit will work on will be wide-ranging and could include NHS waiting times, education funding and classroom sizes, Police detection rates, impact and growth of wind farms, empty homes and pub and Post Office closures.

Acting content director (newspapers), Bob Crawley, said: “Each investigation will be structured so that individual newspapers can then add additional localised information, commentary and interviews to provide informed and in-depth analysis.”

An Archant Election Unit has already been set up, led by Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times political editor Annabelle Dickson, to share ideas, resources and analysis to ensure Archant titles lead the way with local coverage up to the general election on May 7.

The aim of the unit, which has named members from each local title, is to help news desks and reporters in the run up from the dissolution of Parliament on March 30 to polling day.

Ideas already being worked on include election panels of local voters, local and digital hustings, weekly podcasts, election blogs, data journalism and interviews with the party leaders.

Bob Crawley said: “Local political and general reporters will be best placed to deliver these ideas. They will know the candidates and the background to what will be the big stories in the coming weeks and months, but Annabelle will help steer them, and in some cases provide additional content for their print and website products.”

© Archant Ltd 2013