The Sun editor Rebekah Wade channeled the shared anxiety of digital news execs, whilst speaking at London College of Communications’ Cudlipp Lecture (via Guardian.co.uk): “The huge growth in digital still doesn’t pay for high quality journalism. We give away our expensive editorial content free online without an economic model that compensates for the loss in traditional revenues.”
But her blueprint for salvation comes as irony from the chief of the paper that brought you “UP YOURS DELORS‘ and “IT’S PADDY PANTSDOWN“: “The quality of our journalism will make or break our industry, not the recession. The death knell is already ringing for publishers who have forgotten our reason for being.” Speech transcript at PG.
Wade is, let’s say, a realist when it comes to online. Twelve months ago, she told the House Of Lords the proportion of revenue the paper draws from the web will only become significant in 14 years’ time.
Sun Online was the only national newspaper site to gain users in December, up to 18.9 million monthly uniques, against a daily print circulation of 2.9 million, while its online bingo game is amongst the biggest contributors to a commercial revenue stream that’s growing fast from a standing start.