The changing face of Risk.net and our magazines

Extensive reader consultation has helped us reshape editorial teams and our site

duncan-wood
Duncan Wood, editor-in-chief, Risk.net

Dear reader,

We are making a lot of changes to Risk.net and our magazines, some of them visible – such as the new website, which launched on December 3 – and some less so. I'll try to explain why this is important, and what it means for you.

We believe our readers want deep, analytical coverage of topics other outlets tend to ignore – a conviction strengthened this year by a round of reader consultation. Delivering that kind of content has been our goal since Risk magazine launched 28 years ago, and it remains our defining characteristic.

It takes a lot of effort. We will never churn out dozens of stories a day, so we have to use our resources effectively. We also need to deliver our work in whatever form our readers find most useful.

We thought we could do a better job in both respects, and started by reorganising our editorial team.

Until September, all Risk.net content was taken from seven magazines, each of which had its own editor and journalists. There was no overarching management structure. That made it difficult to ensure consistent standards for the print titles and also to produce a coherent, focused website.

We have now reorganised those separate teams into a single newsroom, built around five desks. Risk Management, Derivatives and Regulation are the first three, representing the core topics in which our broad base of readers is most interested. Our Commodities and Asset Management desks write about the same core topics, but with a sector focus – the last of those two is also responsible for our coverage for life insurers. My role has changed, too – from editor of Risk magazine, to editor-in-chief of Risk.net – and I'm supported by three bureau chiefs, in Hong Kong, London and New York.

In sum, it means we have fewer, bigger teams – each one led by a specialist editor – that share a common focus on our three core topics. For the first time, we have a team dedicated to covering risk management; for the first time, we have a team dedicated to our growing buy-side audience.

The new site reflects this structure. Our top-line navigation matches the five desks; each editor will be responsible for curating the front page of their section.

It's early days, but you can already see some of the benefits. I believe we're picking our targets more effectively, resulting in better, more coherent coverage. And it should now be easier to find material that matters to you.

The new site isn't just about matching the navigation to your interests and our structure, though – you'll see it is being presented very differently, giving us more ways to put content in front of you. The new site is also ‘responsive' – meaning it resizes and reformats automatically for the device on which it is being viewed – and there are attendant benefits in terms of speed. We've also added a number of new features to the site and to article pages, including story-at-a-glance bullet-points at the top of our long-form content, to help those readers who are pressed for time.

You will see more changes in the early months of next year, including a revamped – and more granular – line-up of email newsletters, making it easier for you to stay on top of the key developments in your field.

Our recent acquisition of risk technology research and advisory firm Chartis will also generate new content for subscribers in 2016.

What does all of this mean for our magazines? Well, one way to sum up the reorganisation is to say Risk.net used to be the byproduct of the work that went into publishing those titles each month; now, the magazines are more like ‘Best Of...' collections from the website. And those collections should now be stronger, which is good news for all of our readers who like their content in magazine format, delivered either in print or via our apps.

We like the magazine format – and more importantly you told us you did too – so we're continuing to invest in it.

A final point: we do have a broad church of readers, from central banks and regulators to tech vendors and pension funds. They vary in seniority and work all over the world. We'll continue to write for all of these readers, but we're going to focus on topics where we think we have an edge, and where our research has showed strongest demand – it seems the right way to deliver value for a subscription. But we'll learn as we go, and will continue to tinker. If you have any comments or suggestions, please get in touch: [email protected]

All the best,
Duncan Wood.

Editor-in-chief
www.risk.net

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