Comments : 1 Comment »
Tags: Alan Rusbridger, Newspapers, print, The Guardian
Categories : Journalism, Media evolution, Newspapers
Alan Rusbridger the Editor of the Guardian has started to twitter. Along the the Telegraph’s William Lewis he is blazing the trail for major newspaper editors in using the microblogging social network*. It should be of little surprise that he is leading the way. Many of his colleagues at the paper are avid users and the Guardian itself is redefining media concepts. The Guardian is no longer just a newspaper. It is a trusted media brand that delivers audio, video, web content as well as a daily, dead wood and ink edition.
When the Guardian re-launched itself in the smaller Berliner format in 2005, Rusbridger said that the Guardian website was cannibalising newspaper readership and that this was a factor in the prior fall in the paper’s circulation. He also said something else that provided a fascinating insight into the future of national daily newspapers. The new format required the purchase of new printers at some considerable cost; £62 million, £12 million more than the paper had budgeted. Rusbridger apparently said that he thought they would be the last printers that the paper bought.
This blog is a companion to the book ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ available now from Amazon which examines the changing media landscape and its continuing evolution.
* Amended after Mick Fealty’s comment correcting the original assertion.
Comments : 11 Comments »
Tags: Advice, Charles Arthur, Flack, Guardian, Hack, Megan Codling, PR
Categories : Journalism, Newspapers
Ever wondered why PR people are sometimes called flacks? No, me neither but come to think of it I’ve dodged some in my time as a PR person and too often from journalists.
This post was inspired partly by a really interesting piece from the Guardian’s technology editor Charles Arthur and partly as a result of a dare from fellow PR person Megan Codling (some of us can be quite wary of the press….seriously). Charles’s post was the first time I have ever seen a journalist acknowledge the fact that we are advocates for our clients and paymasters. We are in thrall to the media too but the relationship should be mutually beneficial. So, swallowing hard, here are a few tips for the fourth estate:
- Don’t let fly when you get a call from a PR person about a story you are not interested in. Politely and firmly let them know. They may well be lacking in experience and sometimes even judgement but they have summoned up the courage to call you and they’ve probably been polite.
- When you get something you don’t want by e-mail (or DM) click delete and chill. Don’t get annoyed because there is an attachment or the story isn’t up your street. We strive to send you what you want but we don’t always get it right and often we are under pressure too.
- Resist the urge to take us down a peg or three. Most PR people have a great deal of respect for who you are and what you do (and sometimes a well developed sense of inferiority). It tends to evaporate when you turn up the heat.
- Believe it or not we counsel clients on what they should release to the media. We have to develop a keen news sense and we work hard to dissuade clients from issuing non-news
- Work with us, we can be a very useful resource, we will endeavour to respond swifly with words, images or a good interviewee. We really don’t expect you to use what we give you verbatim. We know the value of your endorsement and we strive for it but we don’t expect it.
Let me know what you think, whichever side of the fence that you sit on. Let’s have a heated debate.
Comments : 3 Comments »
Tags: David Meerman Scott
Categories : Blogs and blogging, Newspapers
A term frequently used in digital PR circles is ’blogger engagement’. Although many blogs are a form of participatory journalism they tend regard themselves as different from mainstream journalism. Some bloggers are in fact journalists who see blogging as a channel for communicationg their views and opinions directly to the audience without editorial interference.
There has been much debate in PR circles as to whether bloggers are the new journalists. Personally I think it is interesting that many of the people that say blogging is not journalism also say that digital PR is more or less the same as old style public relations. Neither is wholly true.
There are thousands of bloggers and most have little relevance or influence. For many of these people if it is simply about the pleasure and excitement of being able to self publish. For those that operating at the apex of the pyramid I believe that the similarity between what they do and what a good journalist does bears a great deal of scrutiny.
But as author and blogger David Meerman Scott says “Bloggers are not the same as journalists. We don’t have editors telling us what to do. We write about what interests us and we are always on the lookout for things to share. But it is not our job to write about you and your stuff.”
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Tags: Alan Rusbridger, circulation decline, end of newspapers, end of print, Newspapers, The Guardian
Categories : Media evolution, Newspapers
Newspapers are in the process of re-inventing themselves as news brands. In the future they will have to provide news across a variety of platforms, as many already do using podcasts and video as well as on-line editions.
In 2005, the editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger provided an insight into the future of national daily newspapers. Launching a new format for the paper the organisation had purchased new printers – Rusbridger said that he believed they would be the last printers that the paper bought. This suggests a future for the Guardian and others that will not involve paper at all.
Falling circulation figures for national newspapers in the UK will mean that some will close others perhaps will merge. Either way in five years time or maybe sooner we will have fewer national daily newspapers than we do now.
The news brands may continue but their existence will be a digital one. The 100 year old publication The Christian Science Monitor announced in October that they will move from a print edition to daily and weekly email editions as well as an enhanced weekly digital publication.
The decline in print newspapers is bound to accelerate.