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Tag: print

A Guardian editorial column is read by how many?

Thursday, 18 January, 2018 0 Comments

Rod Liddle has the answer: “A Guardian editorial column is read by about 100,000 people, 0.1 per cent of the population. It does not matter. And nor does double that number signing a petition. It is time the right wised up to this and acquired from somewhere the semblance of a spine.”

That’s from “Your Twitter history will always haunt you — if you’re on the right” in The Spectator, and Liddle is fired up:

“Just hypothetically speaking, I think it is entirely possible that one could be appointed to a senior position within a left-wing party despite having demanded honours for IRA murderers, supported genocidal terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and proclaimed an affection for a totalitarian communist dictatorship in, say, Cuba which imprisons trade union leaders and persecutes homosexuals That’s just hypothetically speaking, mind; I can’t know for sure.”

The Guardian offers its platform now to those who have glorified Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA, along with apologists for Cuba, Venezuela and every other awfulness that the Left endorses. And things can only get worse now that the newspaper has downsized to what it once despised: the tabloid format.

It was a very different Guardian, however, that crowed with confidence in 2005 when it switched from broadsheet to the “Berliner” format. Then editor Alan Rusbridger praised it as “a modern print format for a new generation of readers” combining “the portability of a tabloid with the sensibility of a broadsheet.” To pursue this vision, the Guardian Media Group invested (wasted) £80 million on specially commissioned Berliner printing presses. Today, The Guardian and its Sunday title, The Observer, have gone tabloid and, what’s more, the group has gone from printing papers on its own presses to outsourcing the job to Trinity Mirror.

The Guardian made a loss of £45 million in the year to last April and this unsustainable “burn rate” cannot continue. The endgame is obvious. The paper will follow the ghastly London Independent out of the print business and into the online shark tank where clickbait is the only currency that counts. There, it will compete with everything from The Huffington Post to The New York Times for eyeballs with faux outrage and lots of “Wow!” From an ignominious present to an ignoble future is the path of The Guardian.


The Independent’s last print editor writes

Thursday, 18 February, 2016 0 Comments

“The business model for printed general news from Monday to Friday is kaput.” So writes Amol Rajan, the editor of The Independent. His entry in the Spectator Diary is titled: “From the start, I knew I’d be the Independent’s last print editor.” So what’s the future for journalism, if not print? Specialism, says Rajan. “Thriving periodicals such as the Spectator and Private Eye can pursue that. But for providers of general news in a landscape dominated by the BBC, free is the future.”

And the future of The Independent? Rajan points to i100. “It’s a kind of smart Buzzfeed that does concise, shareable, video-heavy news.” Typical stories:

  • Everyone’s in love with this man dancing in the cold and it’s not hard to see why
  • This young woman decided to use a paint roller to apply fake tan. Not a great idea
  • Husband asks wife (yes, really) for help with his Tinder profile, immediately lands two dates

Is this kind of bottom feeding the way forward? Michael Wolff threw a very heavy wet blanket on Rajan’s vision on Monday in USA Today: “… the effort to compete with native digital news outlets like BuzzFeed means traditional news organizations, with traditional share price values, must, like the venture-capital supported natives, pay more for traffic than can ever hope to be made back from advertisers. In this model, the digital natives can yet hope to sell to deep-pocket buyers, whereas the traditionals can only go out of business.”

Amol Rajan is right when he says that the business model for printed general news from Monday to Friday is kaput. What he needs to do now is make the Independent brand synonymous with a solution that makes digital general news profitable from Monday to Sunday. The odds are against it, but Yevgeny Lebedev has lots of cash, still.

Newspapers


In the civilized company of the newsosaur

Sunday, 16 March, 2014 0 Comments

Last year, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University reported that 55 percent of individuals under 35 preferred digital media as their primary news source, as compared with 5 percent in the same age category who preferred print. Last week, eMarketer predicted that UK mobile advertising spending will top £2 billion […]

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Writing on the wall: Newsweek, Forbes, New York

Monday, 2 December, 2013 0 Comments

The Gladwellian tipping point for the US magazine industry arrived in 2010, when Newsweek was sold for $1. A doomed merger with The Daily Beast followed, and then came the finale last year when Newsweek ceased print publication. More grim news arrived last month when the publisher of Forbes magazine hired Deutsche Bank AG to examine a sale. “While the company prospered during the dot-com boom, the subsequent bust in 2000 and migration of advertising from print to online sites slammed its finances,” reported Bloomberg.

NY Mag And now New York magazine is following suit. Starting in March, it will abandon its weekly publication schedule and appear 26 times a year instead. Why? Because print advertising revenue is sinking like a stone. “So far this year, the magazine is down 9.2 percent in ad pages compared with the same period last year, which was miserable as well,” writes David Carr in today’s New York Times. And this is happening at a time when its digital revenues have been growing at 15 percent year-over-year. Indeed, in 2014, its digital ad take will outdo print ad revenues.

Carr says that by going bi-monthly as a print magazine, New York will save some $3.5 million, which will then be invested on the digital side and 15 people will be hired to strengthen online content and sales. As regards the non-digital side of things, the publishers hope it will become “a more visual, more deliberative version of the print magazine will make it more hospitable to luxury and fashion.” In other words, a Stateside clone of Intelligent Life.

It may be possible for New York, Forbes and other magazines to reinvent themselves in this time of publishing tumult, but it would be unwise to bet on their success. Their lingering, notes David Carr, grimly, “underscores the dreary economics of print and its diminishing role in a future that’s already here.” That future has a name. And it’s called Buzzfeed.


Macmillan Dictionary: “exiting print is a moment of liberation”

Friday, 23 November, 2012 0 Comments

Back at the beginning of this month, the Macmillan publishing company announced that it would no longer make paper dictionaries. In a blog post titled Stop the presses — the end of the printed dictionary, Michael Rundell, the editor-in-chief of the famed Macmillan Dictionary, made the case thus: “Thirty years ago, the arrival of corpus […]

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The end of ink at Newsweek Inc.

Friday, 19 October, 2012 0 Comments

“One day, we’ll see movies with people reading magazines and newspapers on paper and chuckle. Part of me has come to see physical magazines and newspapers as, at this point, absurd. They are like Wile E Coyote suspended three feet over a cliff for a few seconds. They’re still there; but there’s nothing underneath; and […]

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