CNN makes multimillion-pound investment in news gathering

LONDON - CNN International is opening a regional news-gathering hub in the United Arab Emirates and nine new international bureaux, as well as investing in a London-based digital-production unit, as part of a multimillion-pound plan to expand its news-gathering operation.

The international news channel will open entirely new operations in Afghanistan, Belgium, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam.

It also plans to hire additional correspondents for its Johannesburg, London, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Beijing, Jakarta, Mexico, Atlanta and Pakistan bureaux.

The UAE bureau will be significantly expanded in terms of its news-gathering and production facilities, with more programming and reporting from across the region, including more business coverage.

At the same time, CNN is also expanding its Tokyo bureau to include reporting duties in South Korea.

CNN plan to expand its online services by creating a digital production unit that will be primarily based in London.

The unit will produce and service the growing number of new platforms within CNN. It will work alongside the television operation and will be responsible for providing content for CNN International, CNNArabic.com, CNNMobile and new CNN services on TV-to-broadband sites.

The broadcaster said it will also hire more staff for its in-house wire operations and expand its international Newsource operation to provide additional editorial, content and news-gathering services.

Tony Maddox, executive vice-president and managing director of CNN International, said: "This is all about owning more content -- these new resources will have a huge impact across all of CNN's networks and platforms.

"Owning the content we broadcast, publish and make available to affiliates and other platforms is the backbone of this business. This multimillion-dollar investment in staff and resources bolster our world-class, award-winning journalism, as well as give us the power to move swiftly into developing new business models."

The investment follows CNN ending its 27-year relationship with Reuters in August of this year to concentrate instead on the expansion of its own news-gathering service. CNN said at the time it wanted to reduce reliance on agency material and own more of its content, giving it greater control over editorial product.