What Happens to Newspapers?

Event Info

Tue 28 Oct, 2008 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Zigfrid Von Underbelly
11 Hoxton Square
London, N1 6NU, UK
Cost: £25 per person


How can newspapers survive falling circulation figures and spiralling ad revenues? Has new media led to their destruction or can it help to reinvent and rejuvenate the format?

Printed newspaper circulations across Europe are widely reported to be in decline. And one of the main reasons for this is people like you - Internet people - going to the websites instead.

This is, in some ways, a positive result. In the most literal interpretation, our newspapers are better read than ever before, with the Guardian reaching over 20mn unique visitors a month. Local paper specialist Northcliffe now publishes more websites than it does newspapers.

The problem is that advertising on the Internet is a lot cheaper than it is in a printed paper. These extra readers aren't bringing in the same amount of money that they would have done if they'd bought their paper at a newsagent.

Plus, these hordes of online readers might not be from the country that the advertisers are paying to reach. Very few campaigns that come through ad agencies have international audiences.

Not only that. It's also very difficult to get anyone to pay for content on the Net the way they have historically done for their newspapers: roughly equivalent alternatives will be available for free somewhere else.

The end result is that papers have more readers but lower revenues.

So what's going to happen? Can newspapers continue much as they are, or is it time to let go and begin a movement to purely digital formats?

The Panel:

Nico Macdonald [Chair], writer and consultant on media and innovation. His work is documented at spy.co.uk.

Neil Mcintosh, head of editorial development, guardian.co.uk. Blogs at Complete Tosh.

Justin Williams, Assistant Editor at the Telegraph Media Group. Writes a journalism blog at Counter Value.

Martin Stabe, online editor, Retail Week, formerly New Media editor, pressgazette.co.uk. Also blogs.

Tim Gopsill, editor of The Journalist, the magazine of the National Union of Journalists, which is distributed free to 37,000 journalists in the UK and Ireland. Tim is currently co-chair of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and co-author of a book, Journalists: 100 years of the NUJ.

Mike Rowley, Director of Digital Publishing – Northcliffe Media, working on Northcliffe's 150+ “This is” websites.

This event is being supported by the Guardian.

For more information about this event visit the event homepage.



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