Producing for print on Special Reports

For the last few months, I have been working with the Special Reports desk, putting my editorial skills to use on a broader range of specialist topics than ever before. So far, I have commissioned and edited several reports on topics from Global Brands to Consulting in Emerging Markets and even Indian Banking and Finance.

Much of the work I’ve carried out on the Markets desk has been digital focused, whereas for Special Reports, print is the primary medium, forcing me to rethink production in terms of column inches, pagination and layout.

It is a dying discipline but a useful one. Print journalism requires focus and an eye for detail. Oddly, there is a feeling among FT journalists that print mistakes seem more permanent than online ones, despite the permanence of the online archive over tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. After all, the thinking goes, you can update and correct an online article at any time after publication – but a print mistake is a mistake forever!

Thankfully, the Special Reports team is exceptionally experienced and each takes turns to check through each other’s work and making suggestions. What leaves the printers is high quality specialist journalism, while being accessible to the ordinary FT reader. I’m glad to have a part in that.