The importance of engaging news…

Peter Preston has a warning to two big media beasts now fighting out the freesheet battle in the Tube, in London. One, if there ain’t any news, it ain’t a newspaper. And two, two free competing papers are going to have a hard sell on their hands in an arena where advertisers want more and more certainty of who is actually reading what. Or as Alan Moore puts it, there needs to be a shift from interuption to engagement. Shoving free papers in people’s hands is not exactly evidence of engagement.

  • Donnacha

    Always an interesting argument, though. Free papers (with concomitant saturation circulation) versus the “quality” press. A bloke I worked with at my first paper suggested it should be given away to increase circulation, giving us the chance to up the ad rates, but he was shouted down furiously (at first; later we just yawned) by the more “precious” amongst us, myself included. I always wondered though what would have happened if we had given the poxy thing away….And as for having no news, well, there is an argument that several papers should then be reclassified as something else entirely on that score…

  • kloot

    I cant stand those free rags that are shoved in our faces at every DART station in dublin or on the corners of major transport hubs. If they want their paper to be given away free then let people have the choice of picking it up, as opposed to the current state of affairs where you have two people shoving the things in your face every day….

  • Mick Fealty


    That’s a classic of the interuptive genre! You don’t have to go far to see that Irish media and politics generally are still stuck in ‘push’ rather than ‘pull’ mode.

  • Alan

    London tube freesheets –

    one station :- guy gets on and dumps a copy on each free seat.

    eight stations later :- cleaner gets on train and dumps mangled sheets into a bin liner.

    Total distribution :- around two left the carriage, but did they make it past the first bin?