Diese Veranstaltung fand statt am Mittwoch, 30. September 2015.

How is the FT structured in Germany?


• Stefan Wagstyl: Chief Germany Correspondent covering politics and business

• Jeevan Vasagar: Berlin Correspondent covering energy, consumer, healthcare, telecoms


• James Shotter covering finance

• Claire Jones: European Economy Correspondent

• Chris Bryant covering industry and Mittelstand

Who are your competitors?

• The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg

• in Germany: Handelsblatt

Who reads the FT? There has been a large increase in digital subscription. Where are they based?

• 2/3 of the audience are digital

• Breakdown of where the FT is read digitally (online, mobile): 38% in the UK 23% in EMEA 25% in the US 13% in Asia

• Average age: 50

• 81% of the readers are male

• 71% work for an international company

Do you write articles for the print and the online edition?

• when we write a story it will be used for the online and the print version

• online is where most stories appear first; some stories will be published in the print version as well

• a paper version might be shorter

• there is normally an international angle when we write stories

Features: how do they get commissioned (do you use freelancers?)

• Monday – Friday: journalists write their stories and speak to the relevant Editor

• weekend: there are more freelance contributors working for the FT (mostly all of them have worked for the FT before)

• depending on the story we speak to the Editor in charge (Finance Editor, Companies Editor)

• headlines are written in London

What does a typical day in the life of the Frankfurt bureau look like?

• one consequence of the growing importance of the online edition is that there is no typical day

• sometimes companies make announcements early in the morning and we have to be quick

• a lot of articles are published at 5pm during the day

• sometimes we prepare analysis pieces the day before they are published so we can put them up early the next morning

• there are 3 peaks: European morning/ Asian evening; lunchtime in Europe / morning in US and evening in Europe

• challenge: there is one global edition of the FT – pressure to smooth the publication of stories throughout the day. We have different offices in the world and a lot of possibilities

How do you like to hear from PRs? Dos and don‘ts

• it is important for PRs to be informed and to know who is the right contact person

• if you want to write an opinion piece for the FT, a draft of a story is not enough; we need the complete article. Here is a link to our guidelines for comment pieces: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/b927be8a-198a-11e5-8201-cbdb03d71480.html#axzz3pILyWWqE

• the best time to be contacted is late morning – early afternoon

• please avoid to call at 5pm

What kind of stories are you interested in?

• 1st criteria: is it new?

• 2nd criteria: does it illustrate an interesting trend?

• 3rd criteria: is the story is unusual/humorous/surprising?


• the interview process is very different in Germany

• in the UK we don’t send quotes to be checked, in Germany if we are doing an interview in German and translating into English sometimes we let interviewees make sure they are happy with the translation. But we don’t let people change the meaning of quotes. If they try, we won’t publish them.

• the interview can be in German or in English; the article will always be written in English

How do you deal with rumours?

• we have a very clear double sourcing policy in place • there need to be at least 2 sources

How has your job changed, you were Switzerland and Austria Correspondent and a Reporter covering the UK manufacturing beat for the Companies desk in London?

• in London I was a leader writer so I worked more on comment pieces than on news

• Switzerland: I was the only correspondent in the region, which means that I had to cover everything. I couldn’t cover everything in the same depth.

• in Frankfurt I cover finance and my work is much more focussed

Which are the current issues the FT is covering?

• for the FT in general: Volkswagen. The migratation debate.

• for me personally I am interested in different aspects:

• companies in the finance sector (e.g. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Börse)

• how the European economy is evolving

• regulations from Brussels

• trends in the German market

• Digitalisation (ie cybersecurity)

Future developments

• Pearson sold the FT: the transaction closes in December; there haven’t been any big changes so far – NIKKEI wants to build out global journalism and an English language paper will help

• the shift to online will be crucial

• mobile readers are growing faster

• we will build out services like fastFT

• news will become more like an interactive process: we are looking at different ways of how to engage with the readers

• More data driven journalism

• Redesigning website to make it more mobile friendly

Sprecher war

James Shotter, Frankfurt Correspondent