Monday, January 05, 2009

I read the news today, oh boy was it old!

AyeRight flicks through some newsprint

Do falling sales of local newspapers reflect a population no longer interested in newspapers or a lack of interest in local news?
The Gurn for all it’s humour provides a serious platform for local news and comment. Unlike our local newspaper the Gurn can update it’s content near instantly, there isn’t seven days in between issues. We the readers are also the journalists. We not only post to the Gurn but unlike newspapers we are able to start debates through comments, difficult to do if you only publish weekly.
The gulf between newspapers (As in the paper version) and news published on the Internet is immense. The paper version represents what is happening at a certain time as and when the pages are printed, it is therefore the news time stamped. It cannot be updated until the next edition.
It is not just newsprint that is taking a hit from the web, how many people are going to wait to see the news on the TV at ten, or listen to the radio at six, when they can view the same news on-line before those times?
The Internet is also blurring the lines between the different news formats, newspaper websites are presenting us with amongst other items video footage, and some TV companies are presenting us with photographs and comment on their websites.
The common factor is for all media companies is to be chasing advertising but that too is changing. Through their websites the likes of say car dealers can present a wealth of information that they are not going to be able to do in any advert in any format, and as the population becomes more search engine savvy, do we really need to see an advert to tell us there is a sale or special offer on - probably not.
In the present economic climate are adverts going to succeed in launching new products which we will buy? The answer I suspect is maybe, but most of us will think twice before purchasing anything, even a local newspaper!
Peter Preston writing in this Sundays Observer gives us his thoughts on the state of regional news.

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