From print to the web

Following on from his grim assessment of the English Indy’s future, media guru Roy Greenslade today instances the bad example of the Scotsman to show how important websites are becoming to a newspaper’s future. I must say though that judging from my occasional scans, Scotsman owners the notably lean ‘n fit Johnston press aren’t doing a bad job with the Newsletter whether you agree with its editorial line or not. Overall though, the press and the regional daily press in particular are just about as lean as they can afford to be. The Tele’s awkward synergy with the metropolitan Independent is not one any editor however innovative would chose on purely editorial grounds, much as I revere them both. With newspapers already facing market decline and now the recession, does the future lie with websites and their offspring the blog? Greenslade boldly answers the fears I raised in one of Mick’s paens to new media recently .

The problem, as every know-all traditionalist reporter likes to say, very loudly and all too often, is that no business model exists to fund effective online journalism. Websites can never do the job now done so brilliantly by newspapers. Let’s puncture those reactionary generalisations with some facts that suggest such fears are nonsense.”

Success in the US one thing, adopting the business model of the trust for websites here is another but we travel hopefully…

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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