Media release: Johnston Press expands digital, with 31 new roles for 2018


JOHNSTON Press, the multimedia news organisation, is hiring 31 new digital roles over the next nine months, as it continues to grow its digital audiences.

The new hires will further enable Johnston Press to deliver more quality, trusted content to its largest – and fastest-growing – online titles.

Twenty-one of these newly-created roles will specialise in editorial; with jobs covering video production, social media, digitally-optimised content, data analysis, and management of digital content teams.

Two brand-new head of Audience roles, based in Edinburgh and Leeds, will be instrumental in running their respective new central teams, with an emphasis on socially-driven and trending content engagement.

There will also be ten new digital sales hires, including a creative project manager, commercial editor and specialist digital trainer.

These appointments will strengthen Johnston Press’ existing sales operations, focused on targeted digital display advertising, sponsored content, social advertising, and Google AdWords solutions.

This investment in digital for 2018 follows a positive 2017 performance, with Johnston Press news sites averaging 108 million page views per month and over 25 million unique users per average month during the year.

Stand-out sites include the Yorkshire Evening Post, growing its web traffic 46 per cent year-on-year, and the Sheffield Star, which saw web traffic up 43 per cent in the last year, to almost ten million page views per month.

Johnston Press has been steadily strengthening its digital portfolio over the last 24 months, both growing and and refining digital capacities as audiences increasingly consume news on mobile and social.

The close of 2017 saw JP’s digital innovation recognised by the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, which is backed by Google, confirming a six-figure sum of support to the multi-media group.

Two separate award grants offered by DNI in Q4 will support two projects focused on maximising the editorial and commercial digital proposition, while strengthening engagement with readers through harnessing data.

This is the second time in 2017 that Johnston Press was recognised by the DNI Innovation Fund, which works with publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation.

In October last year, a pitch for a ‘pop-up publishing system’ that allows for rapid aggregation and creation of content relating to locations and topics received financial backing from the initiative, enabling a soft launch of city-specific, daily news digests for Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen,

This was followed in December by the BBC’s announcement that it will support 30.5 new reporters for Johnston Press, as part of the BBC’s Local News Partnerships, which is creating a pool of local democracy reporters to cover council and public meetings.

Martin Little, director of Digital Content, said: “I am excited that we are able to start 2018 announcing investment in new digital talent. We have a wealth of top-performing websites in big towns and cities across the UK – and our plan is to accelerate audience growth even further this year with more relevant, trusted, quality content for readers and effective and impactful solutions for our advertisers.”

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