The evolution of the Editor’s role

The role of the editor is also evolving in this new era. Editors are engaging PR firms and their clients to take up spaces for ads, though the role ends there and does not involve the booking.

kaziFor our readers outside of Malaysia, can you introduce us to MalayMail?
MalayMail is the oldest newspaper in Malaysia, established in 1896. It is an English daily, which has its own character, being on the light side of news, it is an easy read. I run the business section, which is growing into a full fledged digital version soon. We have a small team of 7-8 members, some of them being part timers and freelancers. However, we do have plans to boost the digital version when it comes online, with more pages and a different approach to business articles.

You are the Business Editor of the MalayMail, what is your focus for your beat in 2015?

We have a few changes in store for our readers, some of which we have implemented in the print version of the paper altogether. New sections, new leads and new angles to the business stories which include reporting on the engineering side, including the cost and effectiveness of in the construction of the massive MRT lines in Kuala Lumpur. We will also introduce Meet The Boss in which the top guns tells it all! These new sections are created to engage the readers and the companies as well as the PR firms. These sections will also be advertising driven.

How is the development of digital and social impacting your editorial agenda?

We are already competing with the Internet, which is where most people gets their news, fresh from the mill. This forces us to be more adventurous in our story write up and story lineup. Instead of the purely business and corporate stories, we give our readers insights into the digital world. Opening our pages to the people, putting faces to the business and allowing them to tell their side of their life stories, and challenges.

How can communications firm support you in your role?

Communications and PR firms are playing a major role in our transformation. They are the ones supplying us with contacts, interview opportunities and columns or op-eds from their clients. It is a win-win situation where we get the stories we want to please our readers, and these firms get their various clients ample space within our pages. The role of the editor is also evolving in this new era. Editors are engaging PR firms and their clients to take up spaces for ads, though the role ends there and does not involve the booking.

Interview appeared on the following site:

http://www.ryancommunication.com/2015/05/27/qa-series-kazi-mahmood/

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