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The Conversation continues discussions with US and India following hire of Jakarta editor

Andrew Jaspan

Andrew Jaspan

Founding editor of online academic publisher The Conversation, Andrew Jaspan,  has confirmed the publication is looking to expand into the US and India following the appointment of a Jakarta editor this week.

After launching a UK version of the site in May, Jaspan announced the appointment of a Jakarta editor working with Indonesian universities.

And when asked whether The Conversation was any closer to launching in the US, Jaspan said: “We’ve made it clear that’s an area we’d be interested in looking at, but we’ve also made it clear that we’re looking to see whether we can do something in India as well.

“It’s taken us about a year to see if we could do something in Indonesia and we’ve finally done that. But my preference is to just announce stuff when there’s something to actually announce and there’s nothing to announce yet about the US or about India. As and when something happens we’d like to do that.”

Jaspan has also confirmed the appointment of a community manager, and multimedia manager for the site, as well as new editors in Australia.

Michael Lund, previously of the Courier Mail, has joined as science and technology editor based in Brisbane with Queensland editor Liz Minchin, and The Age columnist John Watson has joined as politics and society editor.

Meanwhile Jane Rawson, the energy and environment editor, and Bella Counihan, the education editor, have both departed.

The online publication founded in April 2011 as a non-profit publisher primarily funded by university, private and government grants, also launched a new arts and culture section of the website in October, with funding from Screen Australia.

Jaspan, a former editor of The Age, maintains its readers have almost tripled in the last year to have 1.4m unique visitors a month, with around 1m from Australia and the rest reading outside the country.

He said in his editorial: “I think our relative success is down to the fact that we are trying to produce something different: high-grade content sourced from the university and research sector which is curated by professional editors while together we make every effort to adhere to high standards and ethics. That proposition has attracted many readers who in turn have recommended The Conversation to others. There is nothing more to our story.”

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