There was no meeting of minds when Mark Dickinson, editor in chief of Trinity Mirror papers in the Midlands, and Miles Barter, northern organiser of the NUJ, discussed the future of evening papers on the BBC’s The Message today.
Barter sounded as if he was talking about newspapers 15 years ago seeming to believe that the only reasons for declining circulation were cuts in editorial budgets and early deadlines. There was a lot of sense in what he said but he still sounded as if he was in a time warp.
Dickinson, on the other hand, talked about different ways of consuming news as he defended the concept turning evenings into mornings on the grounds that readers would get the news sooner. That was because most of the current content of evenings is written the previous day.
It would be a lot more useful if they could have moved on the a discussion about how to make the papers serve their communities better whether in print or on the web.