Introduction: Upstart Xstrata makes a multi-billion dollar approach for Anglo-American, the establishment mining company; the turf battle over banking regulation intensifies in the UK; the Iranian authorities tighten a noose around the opposition; and Michael Jackson, the Peter Pan of pop, dies in California, aged 50.
Award watch: Barney Jopson’s articles on the political and economic impact of water aid in Asia and Africa won a distinguished mention in despatches in the Martha Gellhorn prize.
And if you missed the Financial Times or ft.com this past week, you would have missed the following top ten items:
FT.com readers will notice a number of changes to the site today. They are part of a rolling programme designed to make the site simpler to navigate and use but also to highlight the content of greatest interest to you.
The first change is that the management section of the site is now in the main navigation bar. This reflects our increased commitment to the subject – something which will be reflected in the coming weeks. The management section of the site encompasses not only management theory and practice but also business education, our MBA gyms, entrepreneurship and leadership. All features and columnists that could previously be found through the Business Life page can now be reached through the management section.
A second change is the appearance of Arts & Leisure on the main navigation. This replaces what was the weekend section. Again nothing which was in the weekend section of FT.com is disappearing but the change is designed to highlight our arts coverage – adorned by such leading writers as Nigel Andrews, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney and Andrew Clark – which is not merely a weekend event but can be found throughout the week. Weekend features and pages such as food and drink, house and home and reportage, can still be found under the Arts & Leisure section.
In the UK, a third change has seen the merging of our general national news and corporate news on one main page. The UK page is now a one-stop shop for all the best corporate, political, business and economic news. There remain discrete pages for UK companies, politics, economics and business. The personal finance pages can also be reached through the UK page. We hope this offers readers interested in what is happening in the UK a simpler way to find out what is going on.
These changes are the first of many which will occur over the next few months. I hope the changes make the site easier and more rewarding for you. Please let me know – either by email or through comments here – how you feel about them.
PS. On a final note, our mobile site – which can be found at m.ft.com – was last night honoured by the Association of Online Publishers as the best mobile site in the UK. Blackberry users can now download a shortcut for their mobile home page to take you direct to the site.
Thanks for reading
Managing Editor, FT.com
The Budget is one of the key events of the year in the UK, and one that has many people turning to the FT for news and analysis. So we are always on the lookout to do something new.
Last year it was the Budget podcast, which was a mixture of news and analysis, ready to be listened to on the afternoon of the Budget – ideal for that tube journey home. It will run again this year, available from 4pm on the day.
This year we are going to run a live blog in the style of Alphaville’s Markets Live during Alistair Darling’s speech. Three of our most lively writers, Robert Shrimsley, Jamie Chisholm and Matthew Vincent will be providing the commentary, available on our Budget blog.
We will also be providing video analysis, the latest news from our industry specialists, and later in the day a Budget calculator.
Everything you’ll need will be at www.ft.com/budget
The FT’s deputy editor rounds up the best of the FT and ft.com
The big event was our launch of the Future of Capitalism series. It has got off to a cracking start, underlined by strong web traffic.
Martin Wolf‘s introductory analysis piece on day one was a brilliant tour de force and we also had the perfect day one front page story – an exclusive Ed Luce and Chrystia Freeland interview with Larry Summers in which he stirred up a transatlantic hornet’s nest by calling for a greater co-ordinated global stimulus.
The analysis pages throughout the week were of a very high standard and thought-provoking, so a big thanks to Gillian Tett and Krishna Guha, Chrystia Freeland and John Thornhill, Francesco Guerrera and Richard Milne – and to everyone who contributed ideas/profiles to the “50 most influential people” page. The expanded online, interactive version of the 50 influentials, by Steve Bernard and Jeremy Lemer, was a smart piece of work.
There have been quite a few changes recently to the FT blogging system, so we’d like to let you know about them.
We’ve upgraded our blogging platform, WordPress, to version 2.6.5, which has some benefits behind the scenes, but also gave us a chance to update the look and feel. We have cleaned up the design, and moved from three columns to two. This allows for a neater layout of content on the right of the page, and modules that can be hidden or expanded, so readers can customise the page view as they like. We will use this area for other new modules and widgets in the future, giving you interesting ways of accessing our content as well as content from around the web.
The comments system has been revamped. Now a single user ID works on the main FT.com site, Alphaville and FT blogs, which makes it easier for you to post comments. It also means that we can view comment profiles across all of our products, so we can identify our more dedicated commenters, as well as moderate our blogs more effectively.
Our Lex vs Martin Wolf debate has taken FT blogs into a new area – externalising part of the FT’s in-house debate. We don’t always agree with each other, and when it involves some of our most interesting commentators, we are happy to share it with you. It shows how our arguments help shape our editorial direction, and that we are happy to agree to disagree.
Following recent increases in the price of the Financial Times newspaper, FT.com has raised the price of standard subscription to £2.87 a week. Premium subscription, which includes unlimited access to Lex, the financial column, and a mobile news reader specially designed for Blackberries, now costs £3.83 a week.