Trinity Mirror to create digital data journalism unit to produce content for online and printed titles

Market: offerings such as WalesOnline have pinpointed a niche

Trinity Mirror is set to launch a new dedicated digital data journalism unit in to tap into the growing popularity of data interpretation and provide content for both online and print publications.

The unit will be led by the hub news editor at the Manchester Evening News, David Ottewell, and Cardiff reporter Claire Miller has been recruited. Miller developed the WalesOnline datastore and has built her reputation on her ability to create value content and visuals from accessible data. The unit will be piloted through regional titles before being rolled out to all publications.

David Higgerson, digital publishing director for Trinity Mirror's regionals digital platforms, said: "There has been an explosion of freely available data from various sources over the past few years.

"We need to go through that data, identify which of it is of interest to our readers and then turn it into compelling content which gives people context as well as the ability to search the data for information which will appeal to them."

The news pointed to recent popular examples of data journalism tests, such as the Race for a School Place series in Birmingham which predicted for parents the likelihood of their children gaining entry to a chosen school.

Neil Benson editorial director regionals, added: "We are responding to the challenges facing the industry by fundamentally redefining our approach to content creation, and the new data unit is the latest piece in the jigsaw.

"Data journalism has been an area of growing importance for us over the past two years, and the new unit will enable us to progress much faster, across all our newsrooms."

The group recently announced the launch of its PaperPay mobile app to enable customers to pay in advance for copies of The Mirror and Sunday Mirror titles, and its intention to introduce product placement into its news and features. Earlier this month, the company reported a 2.5 per cent in operating profit but a 75 per cent fall in pre-tax profits for 2012.

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