Monday, 7 September 2009

Invest or die

I had a well thought out coherent argument about large newspaper organisations investing all of their profits back into newspapers in order to bolster their products and create real newspapers again.

But in the spirit of all that is great in journalism - and because I am feeling a bit lazy - I thought I would steal some thoughts instead.

The question - why are we so fucked?

The answer - advertising revenue is plummeting

Why we ask?

Cos our products are getting increasingly shit.

Why? Due to a lack of investment of course.

timaych sums it all up on the UKPG website in the comments section. Good lad/ladette. He/she writes:

Why do advertisers pay huge sums of money to appear on F1 cars, or the badges
snooker and darts players?

Why do they pay top dollar to be seen across the shirts of Manchester United
and Real Madrid?

Because they want to be associated with top 'products' themselves.

Now, grab a copy of your local paper, compare it to a copy which was written
10 years ago. Then to one produced 20 years ago.

Small firms would rather go to a community newsletter to advertise services
while larger companies know and understand more wider streams of appealing
to the public, like the internet.

So - the answer to your question, IMHO, is (a) a declining standard of
newspapers (b) a total incomprehension by most groups as to how to use the
internet (c) the vicious circle of declining sales (linked to point a),
meaning lower pagination, meaning fewer advertisers, meaning a worse product
and so we go on.

So how does one stop the rot?

Someone somewhere needs to stop worring about recouping losses for a while,
invest in editorial to make the product, both online and print, attractive to the reader, then the advertisers will start come back.

The second coming of local papers. Still - that would take foresight, vision and a long term plan from those at the top...