News UK journalists caused 'absolute mayhem' with digital data

News UK has clamped down on the digital data it releases to staff after misuse of the figures by journalists caused "absolute mayhem", according to Alan Hunter, the head of digital for The Times and The Sunday Times.

The Times: News UK title
The Times: News UK title

Speaking at an Advertising Week Europe session on "next generation" technology, Hunter warned that great care has to be taken in the way figures on digital performance are explained to staff.

The Times and The Sunday Times have changed the way they brief staff on page impressions and video views and now give a single "gold standard" figure rather than allowing staff to put their own interpretation to the figures.

Hunter said: "We started to release figures of our video views and our page impressions to our journalists and while they are brilliant at many things, interpreting data is perhaps not at the top of their skill set.

"We had absolute mayhem for a while where they were all quoting different figures that suited their needs, as journalists can sometimes do. It was quite funny in a way, the number of different figures that get thrown around.

"So we are actually reducing them to a single gold standard so we don't have all these different views of the truth."