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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

As a rule, most newspaper websites replicate the print product in the way that they present content to readers.

The top stories or features are picked out by the website editor and given the greatest prominence, with the remainder placed on the page according to their category.

For example, the Times website has the biggest stories of the moment at the top, followed by "more news" (the best general news stories), then business news, then sport, then comment, etc.

This echoes the print format, in which the top story or splash goes on the front, with other stories presented in an order chosen by the editor, often divided into categories. Of course, print products have to do this.

But many successful websites outside newspapers take a different approach, customising their pages for readers and presenting them with content they are likely to be interested in.

For example, YouTube offers me videos based, as far as I can tell, on what I am subscribed to and what I have watched in the past.

Here is part of the Amazon.co.uk page is it appears to me:

amazon.co.cuk

It seems to me that newspapers could learn from this approach. Using cookies or, even better, by persuading people to register on our sites, we could use the stories they have looked at before, those they have rated highly and those they have commented on or e-mailed to friends to take a guess at what kind of stuff they are interested in.

If it's sport, then give them the sports stories at the top of the page rather than at the bottom, for example.

And when readers do register, we could also simply let them tell us what they want through a simple interface, in the same way that Yahoo lets people personalise their splash page, for example. I wouldn't depend entirely on this though, as what people say they are interested in may not be exactly the same as what they actually spend their time looking at.

I imagine we'd still want to push the top stories of the day in a prominent position (or maybe not?). But there's no reason newspaper websites should be static, and if we don't take the initiative in giving readers what they want then someone else will. Indeed, they already are.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

Contact me:

Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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