Regional Press, is not so dead

22 April 2009 – 3:13 pm

Last night I enjoyed the company of other BIMA members at the refurbished Kettner’s in Soho.

James Bromley from the Daily Mail Group, kindly came to speak to us about the future of publishing in a digital world.

While I know this is very un-voguey, I do not think the future of regional media is completely dead, just changing. There are some major regionals in the UK and abroad. For example, the Yorkshire Post manages to maintain both a City and Westminster office, and is the voice of some 5 million people in this important economic region. The county covers nearly 10% of the UK population, so by geography and fact alone, in no way is it an insignificant title in terms of numbers, or, potential financial clout.

Similarly on my regular travels around Europe, I read Le Matin in Switzerland, and La Vanguardia in Spain. Again two major regionals. I like the localness of what they tell me. In Yorkshire I want to hear about Yorkshire business and in Catalunya, about what is happening in Barcelona and the other north eastern cities. This is value. Value to me.

Once I have read my newspaper on the plane, train, in the bar, or, at the office, I can discard it, (re-cycling of course!). It would take some fool, or, very rich person to do that with an electronic device at many times the cost.

So while it may be in fashion to say news print (and TV, while we are at it) are dead. In my opinion, the reality is they are part of a changing media landscape.

  1. 10 Responses to “Regional Press, is not so dead”

  2. Old media is not dying out it’s just changing. I can’t wait until I get a version of Kindle or eBook reader (or a slightly bigger iPhone?) that can easily replace my newspaper by letting me download the paper for a few pence everyday.

    Of course the format will change etc but it will essentially be a newspaper.

    The filtering, regional or otherwise is an easy task in the digital space and may lead to the old fashioned regional variations coming back based on your prefs…

    By Dicky Adams on Apr 22, 2009

  3. Enjoyed last night’s talk from James Bromley. I found that It does continue to highlight that publishers are still struggling how they will monetise their content online. I sometimes feel that publishers are holding their breaths hoping that new technologies will help them grow revenues such as the iPhone and digital readers. However the question is will it just transfer from the traditional printed material over to digital without seeing any improvements to the bottom line. It could assist with the cost of actually printing and how quick you can get new stories to press, but is the proposition damaged when people leave you lying around for other people to pick up.

    Look forward to the next BIMA event.

    By Phillip Ludgate on Apr 22, 2009

  4. Hi Xav,

    Nice to meet you the other night at the dinner! As I see I am not the only one reading as much and diverse… And I am en-lighted by your post and would like to add the following.

    Some important elements for media’s success will be reach, relevance and format. Just as an idea, I cant see why there should not be such a newsreader that can deliver all content you wish on a subscription or on-the-go basis including payment process.

    However, its true, the media landscape is changing.

    The challenge of innovation in a global media market is to manage the nature of the dual local/global target group, relevance is key. And leveraging innovation in technology an advantage. For media owners it will be crucial to originate or control essential ‘must-have’ content and successfully move from analogue to digital with innovative effective business models to embrace the opportunities.

    Digital products should not try to be an invitation-only-members-club for geeks but rather become a part of everybody’s daily life.

    Looking forward to the next BIMA event.

    By Anonymous on Apr 23, 2009

  5. Thanks for all the great comments. Really good analysis. So, it seems we do not all think the press/media is going to curl up and die, and I thought I was the only one with such unfashionable views!

    By Xavier on Apr 23, 2009

  6. It seems that even if the regional press had plenty of readers (which many of them don’t) then they would still be hurting as there are simply no advertisers. It’s a real shame as I agree that they have a place. Grade is leaving ITV having achieved success with the schedules and ratings but the ads have collapsed regardless. What can you do?

    By Glynn Davis on Apr 23, 2009

  7. Local media production is having a very rough ride. in the UK regional production of TV is almost gone and local radio is now all about syndication. We have lots of small producers but fewer and fewer between the small and large. Maybe this is where the web can come in?

    By Spencer Hudson on Apr 23, 2009

  8. @Spencer, let’s hope so hey Spencer, (re the web coming in), as UK talent is largely being lured in to a cul-de-sac and slowly strangled!

    By Xavier on Apr 24, 2009

  9. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124087711048861559.html#mod=rss_whats_news_us

    By Julia McKinsey on Apr 28, 2009

  10. cul-de-sac … i think a lot of people have set up homes and havn’t even realised it

    By spencer hudson on May 29, 2009

  11. Yes, it could be like the 3M Post-It note thing. An accident, that later turns out to have huge commercial value.

    By Xavier on May 29, 2009

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