With what medium does readers’ loyalty lie?

WHEN THE Prime Minister, Gordon Brown spoke of the boom and bust days, many editors across the country no doubt thought he was referring to the newspaper print press.

Newspapers have seen a steady decline in sales recently









That’s because since the turn of the new millennium, print media around the world has seen circulation and readership figures nose-dive because of the continual advances in and implementation of new media mediums.

At a recent Coventry Conversations lecture, Guardian journalist, Nick Davies, claimed that the Daily Express and The Independent newspaper titles were, as he put it, “on the brink of death”.

With the economic downturn having a direct and serious impact on advertising revenue, the hand of all national media, and the majority of local media titles, too, is being forced to invest vast sums of money into these new mediums.

To put the industry’s difficulties into perspective, London’s only paid-for quality newspaper, the London Evening Standard, was recently sold by the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) to the Russian billionaire, Alexander Lebedev for a sum of just £1.

And at the same time, journalists across the UK are being made redundant on a worryingly regular basis.  More often than not, old ‘hacks’ accustomed to only one medium are being replaced by the so-called ‘new generation’ who are cheaper to employ, but more importantly have learned to embrace text, audio and video journalism.

So the question needing to be asked is: ‘Are newspapers in fear of becoming an extinct species, and will people exchange ink on their fingers with the continual and repetitive click of a mouse button instead’?

On Thursday, 26th February, the Executive Director of the Society of Editors, Bob Satchwell will be the guest speaker at the media lecture to answer this problematic and as yet unanswered question.

John Mair, inventor of the Coventry Conversations, said: “Bob knows the score. He has edited publications as diverse as the News of the World and the Cambridge Evening News in the past.

“He has run the Society of Editors with aplomb for well over ten years now.  His is a voice often sought by the BBC on radio and television to comment on media matters.”

Since its founding in 1999, 59-year-old Satchwell has remained at the forefront of the Society’s research and lobbying on issues concerning the government and other organisations that directly impacts on the media world.

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In total, the Society of Editors has nearly 450 members from all corners of the UK’s media, ranging from local newspapers to national magazines to TV and radio broadcasting.

  • Bob Satchwell will be talking at 13.00pm in room ETG34 of the Ellen Terry Building.

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