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Telegraph uses drones to move “beyond confines” of Fleet Street and create new advertising opportunities, says editor-in-chief Jason Seiken

The Telegraph has hailed drones the “storytelling tool” of the future, and will use new technologies such as this to push the boundaries of its investigative journalism while opening up new opportunities for advertisers.

Speaking at Ronnie Scott’s as part of Advertising Week Europe, Telegraph editor-in-chief and chief content officer Jason Seiken said drones can play a part in engaging audiences and helping combat the common challenge in the digital space, which he described as “attention-deficit disorder”.

The Telegraph demonstrated one of its drones at the briefing, built by Telegraph photographer Lewis Whyld, to show how journalists could use them to not only enhance their current way of reporting news, but to push into new, unexplored territory exposing issues in uncharted areas that its reporters can't necessarily access.

Sieken, who took up his current role four months ago, said the Telegraph is “no longer just a newspaper” but a “digital native” organisation, whose guiding principle is to put the customers first. “I was brought in to take us to the next level – to take us beyond the confines of being a newspaper and beyond the confines of Fleet Street.

“Putting the customer first may sound a bit of a cliché which everyone uses, but we have traditionally had a culture of the imperial editor who divines what customers want and acts on that. That vision they have is still important, but what is now just as important is the data – knowing customers and ensuring they have a voice in the coverage,” he said.

The drone which was demonstrated at the event was described by its creator Lewis as “hugely versatile storytelling tools” which can spur on the next wave of “dynamic journalism”.

The Telegraph was also quick to stress that the drones would offer compelling experiences for advertisers and brand partners, giving examples of how travel and hotel brands might use the technology to create their own immersive experience for customers.

Also speaking at the briefing was the Telegraph’s director of digital content Kate Day, whose position is on equal footing with the print editor – a first for Fleet Street, according to Seiken. Since she took up her new role two months ago the Telegraph has seen its monthly unique browser figures spike, with March showing a 29 per cent hike to 72 million as a result of her leadership, he added.

Featured by The Drum