Katie Vanneck-Smith

Co-Founder and Publisher, Tortoise Media

Katie Vanneck-Smith is Co-Founder and Publisher of Tortoise Media with James Harding and Matthew Barzun. Tortoise is a slow media news platform that is committed to looking at what is driving the news and is built on a membership model that is inclusive and open - www.tortoisemedia.com. It has built a community of over 100,000 members in just two years. Prior to this new adventure as an entrepreneur, Katie was the President of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, where she led the company to over 3m subscribers, the largest number in WSJ history. She has previously worked at the Telegraph Media Group and The Times, where, as Chief Marketing Officer, she was the architect of the newspaper’s early move to paid digital subscriptions. She created the UK’s first news membership brand, Times+, and oversaw the events programmes, including both the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Times CEO Summit. She was named Pioneer of the Year at the British Media Awards. She is vice-patron of the charity, Family Action and a Strategic Adviser to Big Change.

All Sessions by Katie Vanneck-Smith

11:00 am - 11:20 am
Main stage

Becoming an audio-first publisher: what, why and how

Three-year-old investigative newsroom Tortoise is focused on slow news: stories and investigations that reveal what's driving the news. They initially launched long-reads and data journalism, but last year, they decided that Tortoise would become audio-first. Now, audio is the primary output of journalism on their website and app. In this fireside chat, Chris Sutcliffe talks to co-founder and Publisher Katie Vanneck-Smith about why Tortoise decided to go audio-first, what changes that required behind the scenes, and how they're growing audiences through audio.