New Coventry Telegraph editor says he won’t be paper’s last

Cov Telegraph editor, David Brookes
Cov Telegraph editor, David Brookes

THE COVENTRY Telegraph’s new editor, David Brookes, is fearless that the newspaper can endure the current economic climate, he told an audience of students at Coventry University today.

Referring to the ‘threat on two fronts’ of economic decline and the changing habits of readers, Brookes claimed that the only publications that will survive would be those that “face-up to, and act upon those threats, by restructuring and reinventing the newsroom”.

The newly appointed editor maintained that he would not be the Telegraph’s final editor, saying that a complete review of the content and structure of the paper would secure the future of the local newspaper

“The idea that the web will abolish print is far too simplistic,” Brookes said.  “It will profoundly change what goes into print, but thanks to the web I think that newspapers can be better, and those that survive will have to adapt.”

Brookes did acknowledge, however, the dangers of ignoring a newspaper’s fundamental assets, such as content and consistency, and said that the future of journalism depended on these qualities.

“I feel that as an editor, I have a duty to uphold journalistic quality, and to allow journalists the time to land those big stories.”

There is a place for newspapers in the digital age

A former editor of the Sunday Mercury, based in Birmingham and the Midlands, Brookes claimed that the success of the multi-award winning Birmingham publication had been a result of a strong team of journalists and editors.

“We gained a reputation for our hard hitting investigative style of journalism,” he said, describing how he would endeavor to build such a team within the Coventry Telegraph.

“It is difficult in this climate to juggle between quality and quantity, but there has to be room for both if newspapers are to survive.”

Refusing to concede that the future of the industry would be “exclusively on the web”, Brookes said that print and online should complement each other and that “there is a place for newspapers in the digital age”.

Brookes told Coventry students there was space for a few curious minded professionals, who maintain standards within the industry.

“Journalism is a fantastic occupation: showing an interest in what is going on around us, talking to people, making a difference to their lives and writing their stories. It is a true record of our lives,” he added.

  • To read the Press Gazette’s report, click here

Image courtesy of Jason Craig

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