ftnewsroom

I visited the Financial Times headquarters in London yesterday, part of a group of six bloggers who met with some senior FT editors and reporters for an informal get-together to talk about FT.com, blogging, journalism and anything else that took our collective fancies.

As someone who’s been a paid subscriber to FT.com for nearly six years, it was a special thrill for me to visit.

We were an eclectic group of bloggers: Roo Reynolds, Sarah Blow, Patrick Altoft, Andrew Donoghue from ZDNet UK, Robert Andrews from PaidContent UK (who grabbed an interview with FT.com MD Rob Grimshaw while there: read that for some business insight about FT.com), plus me.

It was the first such meeting of its type between bloggers and journalists at FT.com.

Our host was James Montgomery, editor of FT.com, and the epitome of openness and transparency, who took us on a tour. It’s the first time I’ve visited the newsroom of any media organization where a visitor could literally walk around almost at will taking photos and shooting video.

You can get a sense of the scale of the FT newsroom from the photo above which shows just a bit of it. Now imagine that three times as big and that’s the FT.

No surprise to note that it’s chock full of tech as you can see from all the screens. Flat panel Dell monitors, nearly all. (Dell is ubiquitous these days: go into any company, or watch any movie that has a computer on screen, and it’s always Dell you see.)

We did quite a bit of video. If wifi had been available, I would have done live Qik streaming video from my Nokia N95 8GB (no way I’m doing that on a cellular connection). Sarah and Robert were also videoing with their Nokia mobiles.

I’m planning to post some of my video once I’ve decided what to include and what to produce. That’s not likely before next week as I’m travelling the rest of this week. Robert has already posted a video (undoubtedly the advantage of working for a media organization or, at least, having production help!); keep an eye on Sarah’s blog for hers.

Reflecting on the nearly three hours at the FT, I’m most impressed by the openness and willingness to talk expressed by all the FT journalists and staff we met in our meeting and on our walkabout of the newsroom.