Blog Post

Westminster Warned: Local Papers Can’t Be Saved By Websites, Blogs Or Anything Else

imageOne hopes the MPs on the House Of Commons’ culture, media and sport select committee took their happy pills Tuesday morning. In their first hearing on the future of local and regional media, opening witness Enders Analysis founder Claire Enders gave them a thoroughly downbeat assessment…

“We are expecting (half of the) 1,300 titles will close in the next five years.” Nigel Evans MP: “You see no way of stopping this or turning it around?” Enders: “No.” “The newspaper industry has already been through massive amounts of cost cuts – I’m a little sceptical about how much more can be done.” “There will be more cuts in human employment, we are predicting massive increase in unemployment … the overall level of employment will continue to fall for the foreseeable future.”

Can websites save local newspapers?: “Absolutely not. the average income earned from a regional or local newspaper reader is about £100 a year, the average income on a website visitor is about £2 a year, and probably falling. People are spending about five minutes a month on these websites; by comparison, people who read the newspaper spend about 12 hours a month – the websites do not substitute the printed page.” “The only medium we are predicting to grow is Google, at four percent – this is a company that used to have a CAGR of 25 percent. There is simply a lot less money in the media and that money will continue to drop.”

Can’t the online grassroots help?: “It’s not really possible to replace professional journalism … people already engage in blogging, but they’re going to have to make a living through the day – washing cars or whatever.” Adam Price MP pushed the promise of citizen journalism but Enders was still pessimistic: “Blogs are personal statements … less than four percent of news ever originates on a blog, blogs are commentaries on what’s going on, they don’t originate stories … you don’t see bloggers doing hard work … Some of the regional channels… ThisIsSomething… one of the discussion areas they started had to be shut down because of racism … I don’t see that as a positive phenomenon. I have a lot of respect for everyone who’s out there in Bloggerland, but this is not a substitute.”

What about micropayments?: “Out of the thousands of websites in the world, only a million readers have chosen to pay … that’s a model that works for professional-type information.”

One Response to “Westminster Warned: Local Papers Can’t Be Saved By Websites, Blogs Or Anything Else”

  1. Technology Tester

    Blog are good with marking of every subject related to the article. Matured level are really interesting, format of this blog is really super with his picture gallery. Thanks for the such a fantastic blog.