Monday, March 16, 2009

Papers that adapt will survive

A newly-appointed regional editor has told students his paper faces a "fight for survival" from the twin challenges of the recession and the internet.
Coventry Telegraph editor David Brookes was speaking to journalism students at Coventry University yesterday in the latest in a series of lectures by industry figures.
Since taking over from Alan Kirby in January, Mr Brookes has overseen a huge restructuring operation at the Trinity Mirror owned title with the move to a multimedia newsroom.
While insisting that there's "a place for the Coventry Telegraph in the new digital age," he acknowledges that "local publications have to adapt and change to new methods in order to stay alive."
"The future of journalism is not exclusively on the web, and the notion that the internet will abolish newspapers is far too simplistic to be true," stated the former Sunday Mercury editor.
"But times are changing at a rapid pace, and whilst it would be lovely to stop the decline of sales in the short-term, it's a harder prospect to uphold in practice.
"I'm a firm believer that print and online content should compliment each other. It's all about how we as a publication adapt, maybe placing breaking stories online before we cover them with an in-depth analysis in print.
"The newspapers that are quick to change their philosophy and move with the times are the ones who will pull through this difficult economic period and come out the other side all the better for it in years to come."
Mr Brookes remains positive about managing the decline in sales of printed editions whilst using the digital revolution to the paper's advantage.
"I'm supremely confident that the Coventry Telegraph will survive these times, thanks largely to the re-structuring and re-invention of our newsroom," he said.
"Our journalists are now multimedia journalists, with the skills to get the story, write copy, publish to the web, take photos and shoot videos.
"We have a new website to be launched in April which signals our intent to entice a larger audience and encourage the public to either get involved with, read or watch our experts at work, while at the same time attracting potential investors to come on board for commercial opportunities.
"The content we provide our consumers with is king, and if we continue to provide the quality of copy that we do at present, then I have no doubts that the Coventry Telegraph will shrug off the recession and prosper once again."


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